Not getting the jobs you want? Help from a Careers Advisor
The job search can be a difficult task, Christian who is a Careers Advisor at Loughborough University, untangles why you might not be getting the offers you want.
Imagining yourself in a role you’ve interviewed for can be exciting, so being unsuccessful can be very disheartening – especially when you see your friends getting good jobs.
If this is your experience, I recommend following the steps to refresh and revamp your job search:
Think about what challenges are in the way. Write them down and make a list of how you could improve in each area, for example: If you’re getting rejected at the same stage of every application process, what could you do better? Preparation? Presentation? Skills?
Are you struggling to stay motivated? Set daily goals and reward yourself e.g. Speak to someone in your network to discuss strategies to overcome these challenges e.g. a parent, friend, or someone else you respect. If you’re a student, you could arrange a careers appointment or talk to your tutor.
Check your motivation
Acknowledge the situation and how you feel Don’t ignore your emotions. Use your disappointment to help you motivate yourself to move forward and find the next opportunity.
Is a lack of real enthusiasm preventing you from being successful? Before you apply, think honestly how much you want the job and why.
If the prospect of getting a particular job excites you, use these thoughts to stay motivated, especially when you’re about to tackle something outside your comfort zone, such as an interview or networking.
But if you’re less bothered about an application, it may be worth reviewing your options e.g. are you simply going after certain jobs because of other people’s expectations? If you don’t have internal motivation to do something, it will hold you back from achieving it.
Reframe your thinking
Jobs and workplaces constantly evolve. The idea that there is just one ‘perfect vocation’ is often not the case and can add unnecessary pressure. Being clear about your values and what you want in a job (for example, tasks, environment, people, purpose) can help you identify other suitable options.
It can help to visualise yourself in 5years time. What sort of life do you want to live? How would work fit into this? What would a typical day at work involve?
Having a clearer picture of the longer-term future can help shift the focus from getting the ‘perfect job’ now, to identifying potential different routes to achieve your larger goals. It can also help to identify long-term goals that don’t exist now but may do in a couple of years time.
Use social media to your advantage. Research people in and outside your network who have achieved things in life that you want and look at how they did this. If you found them on LinkedIn, reach out to them for advice. You will be surprised at how many people are happy to help younger people who admire their work. Think about asking questions that are relevant to you now, such as strategies they used when applying to a large number of roles, or whether they have any advice on how you can expand your network.
For more info on navigating the job search:
Preparation is key
To ensure you’re putting your best foot forward, read our content on preparation
The Job Search
Want to know where to search and how to start your search? Click the link!
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