Job hunting is not for the fainthearted, especially when you are a fresh graduate with the world promised to you. I graduated in 2016 from Monash University with a double degree in Marketing and Journalism. This year I began to job hunt and my temper, skills, confidence and strength has been put to the test.
During May this year, my retail job was making me very unhappy so I quit to job hunt full time. Despite feeling like a big weight had been taken off my shoulders at the time, I had no idea what I was in for.
During this time I have feared not being able to pay the rent, scared I’ve picked the wrong career path, afraid of being a women in the business world and questioned whether I was strong enough for what was ahead. I am still job hunting, but what I have experienced so far has taught me many new things.
What I have come across so far as a graduate job hunting;
1. Been taken advantage of
As I worked my last days in my retail job, I was lucky enough to have found an internship with a marketing agency right away! It was exactly what I was looking though it took me way to long to realise I was being taken advantage of. I was doing free work for a small company that was struggling for money.
I was at the office for three days a week, undertaking tasks that was crucial to running the business. I was also left alone in the office to do these tasks, instead of learning. I was offered $500 a month, though the boss never asked for my bank details and still has not paid me. This was not an internship, it was free work.
Though despite this poor experience, I got a good glimpse into the digital marketing world and discovered the skills I would need for my career.
Lessons to learn:
- Sometimes you have to play the career game to succeed but it’s not worth being taken advantage of.
- Keep an eye out for early signs of being taken advantage of.
2. Feeling uneducated
With two degrees in hand, I was ready to take the marketing world my storm until I realised how little real world knowledge I had. I didn’t even know what jobs were appropriate for me to apply for and let alone what skills I would need.
For a few weeks, I had to put my job hunt on hold to research the industry and undertake some online courses to improve my skills and CV.
Lessons to learn:
- Take control of your future and equip yourself with the right information and skills.
- Uni only takes you so far and the rest is up to you.
- The world is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up to date as you might discover a new interest or career path.
In many ways, job hunting is like dating and sometimes your heart gets broken. As you filter through all the jobs, you begin to realise that it’s hard to find a job that suits you and the company.
I have been hunting for about 3 months now and only found a job I felt excited about last week. The role was for a graduate and offered opportunities to learn about all faces of the digital marketing. I felt confident and excited after the job interview and felt like I would fit into the company very well.
Though I was informed I didn’t make it through early this week. They kindly gave me feedback and told me I had all the elements they were looking for and I answered every question with confidence and thought out answers. The reason I wasn’t hired because someone had a year industry experience compared to my month experience.
This rejection hit me the hardest and left me feeling flat and beaten. Though now I feel more hopeful about the future because I know exactly what I am looking for and how to achieve it. They do say it’s better to have loved then never loved at all!
Lessons to learn:
- It’s important to look for a job that you are passionate about.
- Interviews and rejections can help defined what career path you want to take and the steps needed to get there.
- Rejection is an important part of success as it makes you more resilient and a stronger fighter.
I have learnt a lot about myself and world around me since graduating from uni. It’s hard and challenging but how you take it is up to you. Understand that you are not the only one going through this process even though it’s hard to remember sometimes.
Time to work hard, be patient and positive and hopefully we’ll find a job soon.