8 Ways To Get Your Act Together Between Graduation And Your First Job

by Kara Mulder

After graduating from university, I experienced post-college unemployment and was desperate to the point where I was applying to candy stores and mall kiosks.

It was a definite low point for a girl who had graduated early, excelled in class and assumed that the adult world would warmly welcome her into its arms.

I had $45,000 taped to my wall in the form of a piece of paper with a couple of signatures, hopelessness in my heart and uncertain feelings about my future.

Looking back, I realize that although it was a tough time, I could have handled parts of the experience differently to help minimize my stress, and the stress I transferred to those around me.

Here are eight ways to handle stress when transitioning from college to a full-time career:

This Too Shall Pass

You might begin to believe that joblessness may last forever. Forever is a long time, and I’m fairly certain that Crisco may be the only thing that lasts forever, and even that probably has an expiration date.

Keep in mind that this too shall pass. It’s just a season of your life that you need to embrace as opposed to wallow in, and a season that will strengthen you for future challenges.

Don’t Get Stuck

There is a tendency to become stuck, lost in the frustration or mundane time wasting activities. I know you watched the entire season of the latest hottest TV show, which, if you are a writer or aspiring actor, may be beneficial, but for the majority of us, those hours spent are hours lost.

It’s important to stay productive during this time of your life. Find a way to maintain structure to your day, and don’t let yourself fall into a rut. Maybe your job search isn’t successful because you need to develop a new tactic.

Shake things up by traveling, or simply spending an afternoon catching up with a friend.

Believe that someone, somewhere will hire you.

Stop Being So Picky

Until you meet that someone who wants to hire you, stop being so picky. I know you are waiting for your dream job, but honestly it’s not waiting for you.

You have to be tenacious, and sometimes those traits exhibit themselves in the form of taking on smaller jobs. If a retail store or restaurant is the only place that called you back, work there. Make deposits into your bank account, and keep looking for the job that you received training for, or the job you really want.

Don’t Become Too Comfortable

Many people don’t ever land their dream job because they become all too comfortable with their “Almost Dream Job.” There are so many excuses as to why people don’t do what they love: money, time, ease of work, vacation, etc.

I understand that it's an incredible challenge leaving an environment that is easy and known, and step into something that stretches you, but the magic happens when you jump out of your comfort zone.

Build Your Skills

Someone, somewhere will hire you, and you have to trust that. While you are trusting, use your time wisely to become more of the person the boss will want to hire.

Do you want to be a writer?  Take writing classes, or join a writing group. Learn a new hobby or language. Take on work with people by getting a job at hotel.  Continue to go to interviews because like anything else, interviewing is a skill.

There Is Hope

You are not a failure. You are still smart, talented and marketable. Keep believing in your abilities and the future, maintain a hopeful attitude and tell yourself every day that your future is bright.

Be Thankful

I understand how frustrating feeling useless is, but that feeling isn’t moving you forward. Instead, choose the feeling of gratefulness.

Take 90 seconds every morning to clear your mind of the worries that plague you. Many people have it so much worse than you, so take the time to find perspective.

Hold Your Dream Close

You will find that the journey to your dream job will not be simple, easy or comfortable. Regardless of what people believe, what life looks like currently or who wants to dim your positive energy, hold your dream close.

Protect it, cherish it and nurture it, and that dream will carry you along when you are too weak to carry yourself.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr