An occasional frustration of a careers adviser is trying to make contact with a student or grad that you know wants help but who you can’t reach by telephone. The main frustration is when the student or grad in question doesn’t have an answer service on their mobile phone. Imagine if it was an employer wanting to invite you for interview or even offer you a job. If they can’t get hold of you the opportunity slips by. So please. Sort yourself out with an answering service today and be sure to leave a professional sounding message if you choose to record one.
A guest post from a good friend of mine who has been at the sharp end of graduate recruitment for quite some time. So he knows his onions.
When (one of) the founder(s) of LinkedIn gives their perspective on effective networking you’ve got to pay attention. And Reid Hoffman didn’t let me down. It’s a long article but see if you can pick out the following stand out themes. Then think how to apply them yourself.
- Try to help others first rather than thinking about what you can get. The ‘strong’ connections in your network should be a collaboration, not a trophy or what you personally are wanting
- Prioritise fewer high quality relationships over lots of contacts
- Put yourself in that other person’s shoes. Offer them a small gift to help solve a problem you know they are having or to fill a gap in what they have
- Start with the people you already know and when it comes to the working world and job hunting it’s 3 degrees of separation, not 6. I like those improved odds
- Get connected through a personal introduction from the person who knows you and who knows the person you want to connect with
- See the value in ‘weak-tie’ acquaintances, i.e. those with different backgrounds from you and what you’re looking for
This post comes courtesy of some advice from a recent Brunel grad. He’s alerted me to 2 particular smart phone job finding apps he’s found particularly useful so there’s every chance you will as well. In both cases they trawl a number of different job sites to deliver jobs to your phone:
On top of that remember our very own Brunel PCC job vacancy app.
Have a read of the following article. The headline should attract your interest: “Three ways to overcome career anxiety“. Because without fail many of us are feeling anxious about something when it comes to our career. Three things in particular stood out for me. These are things to reflect on. There’s no easy fix to feeling differently about them but if you give yourself a chance to mull these issues over it may give you a couple of useful breakthroughs.
- That comparing your own situation to your peers is unhelpful. Our cursed human nature also tends to mean that we subconsciously seek out those stories of others ‘doing better’ than ourselves. We are blind to the stories of those who are doing worse. And this sense of better or worse is subjective, i.e. it’s open to personal interpretation. So you may firmly believe that a fellow grad who stepped right into a grad job after graduation is in a better place than you at the moment. A few years down the line the tables may have turned. That ideal career path and job may have a big question mark hanging over it because that person didn’t need to do the amount of self reflection and trial and error you have had to do. And it may not have ended up being their dream career direction. Then they’ll very much be back to square one with a real bump.
- In that spirit of self reflection and trial and error do pick up on the points about giving yourself time to reflect on your passions and to start experimenting. In the first case reflect on what your passions look like, sound like and feel like. Don’t try to attach a job title to them yet. Just get the detail of them out into the open that you can see in front of you. In the second case you don’t need at this point in your life to optimise choices or make the ‘right decision’. In all truth there is no ‘right decision’ at this stage in your career. We close in on the essence of what we want in a career over the years (not weeks) of our working lives. Give yourself that breathing time. Try stuff out.
Students in focus groups arranged by Target Jobs earlier this year did. Specifically when it came to information about the big name companies you might be thinking of applying to. So Target Jobs have done something about it and I must admit I’m impressed by the results. Their new online Employer Insights area offers you the following:
- Find out what it’s really like to work for each employer
- Get essential application and interview tips
- Post your questions and hear what others say about employers
- Follow employers for the latest updates – commercial awareness!
- Written by experts with you in mind
- Regularly updated throughout the year
In a nutshell they proclaim to give you Continue reading
For some graduates time is a real enemy. You want the time to try things out, give your self some space for some more thinking time about your career and what you want from it but without packing your possessions in a rucksac and trecking round the world. And you could do with some money coming in as well. I think I may have found the answer.
It’s an initiative where you will be paid for your efforts (up to £100 a week for work expenses and a free travel card), you will have 11 months to contribute to community enhancing projects, and you will get the opportunity to work alongside and learn from blue chip Continue reading
It’s perhaps a couple of weeks in to your serious job hunting now. I’m sure there have already been some highs and some lows. Some feelings of progression, some feelings of having stalled already. If it’s the latter can I make a suggestion? Have a read of these 3 previous blog posts of mine and this excellent additional blog post.
All relate to taking a step back, to give yourself a bit more perspective on what’s in front of you and ways to clarify your own sense of what you’re looking for at the moment. These aren’t the ultimate answer and I’d strongly urge you to follow up the things you discover with your careers adviser. But it does give you some concrete ways to self reflect at this confusing stage.
I can feel the panic rising already. Wide eyed final years feeling every hour ticking by too quickly. Must…get…job. Must…apply…quickly. But let’s take our foot off the accelerator, take a deep breath and pause a second.
To consider a parable as old as the sands of time. The hare and the tortoise. Or for this purpose the hare and giraffe. As we recall the hare sprints away from the start line leaving the tortoise in its wake. But complacency and tiredness get the better of the hare who is overtaken in the final stages of the race by the more considered tortoise. Or in this case, giraffe.
At the moment many of you final years are playing the part of Continue reading