As of April 26th, 2017, I’m proud to say I’m done my undergraduate degree – with the satisfaction of knowing I have a job lined up after I’m done travelling!
After eight months of rigorous job searching and getting denied from too many jobs to count, I finally managed to land a new position.
There were a few key ingredients to my success that I’d like to share, and hopefully help any TRSM students looking for advice on how to prepare when going into final year.
STEP 1: Go to the Business Career Hub!
The Business Career Hub is designed with one purpose in mind: to help TRSM students find employment.
I had the pleasure of going here on a weekly basis throughout the year to get constant feedback and learn where I made mistakes and what I could do better for the next job posting.
I was in the same shoes as everyone else and initially thought BCH wouldn’t to teach me anything I couldn’t find online or from a family member or friend. But I decided why not use this extremely valuable and free resource?
I went in and got some constructive criticism from BCH professionals who did recruitment in these respective fields before joining TRSM to help students get an upper hand.
BCH career counselors can teach you more than you think, from helping you show off the skills you’ve gained in student groups, to showing you what to look for in a job posting, to ensuring you look professional on social media and teaching you how to truly tailor your cover letter.
So go to the Business Career Hub – it’s better to be prepared and not have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
STEP 2: Create Your Personal Brand
Realize your worth, find your personal brand and wear it like a badge.
My career counselor, Juliana Scharrer, says everyone has unique experiences to bring to the table. The key is to be honest and show what you are truly good at.
Think about your past work in student groups and jobs you enjoyed and it’s not hard to connect that to a career path. Look at your values, what you want to achieve in your career and why.
What do you do better than anyone else you know? Start creating a persona that allows other people to see your personal brand in an easy-to-understand manner.
If you know there’s a field you’re not interested in, don’t waste your time creating a custom cover letter for it. Go find an entry-level job for something you’re actually interested in. It may not be the highest paying job, but you can always work your way up. If you’re passionate about it, it won’t take as long as you think.
Define your own brand and stop moulding yourself to fit into a company that isn’t you. Do some soul searching and find what you truly want to do. Then find a career that fits you and helps you achieve your purpose.
STEP 3: Find a Job Hunting Buddy
Applying to jobs can feel like a full-time job in itself. And having no friends on the job can make a bad day worse.
Job hunting can be exhausting, especially when you still have courses and networking events to attend, so it helps to have a buddy.
My job hunting buddy and I pushed each other to get out of our comfort zones and go to events. If you fall on your face, who cares? You learn each time and won’t make the same mistakes next time.
A friend also knows what you’re doing and can give you advice on when it’s time to try something else. Find a job hunting buddy, because as long as you have one good friend, you can get through anything.
STEP 4: Become Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is much easier said than done, but the beauty of being at this point in your life is that you have tons of opportunity and can take some risks.
You can’t be even less employed than unemployed, so you might as well use this time to develop your skills.
I used to hate networking nights. It felt very forced, but the real reason I didn’t like it was because I wasn’t good at it. However, I knew it was my weak point, so I stopped reading articles and asking for advice and just went for it.
It didn’t go well at first, but I got better at it and learned what I could take on to the next event. That’s the beauty with becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable: don’t let fear hold you back and everything else you want to change about yourself is easy.
STEP 5: Believe in Yourself
Finally, on top of getting constructive criticism from BCH, figuring out your brand, having a friend to encourage you and getting over whatever it is that you’re lacking, you need to learn to believe in yourself.
My family, friends, and career counselor believed in me more than I believed in myself. That doesn’t mean keep surrounding yourself only with people who make you feel good, but learning to truly believe you have something of value you can add. Once you believe it, you’ll be able to show that genuine confidence to any recruiter you meet.