Graduate jobs: Get Your First Apprenticeship!
If you have just graduated, are about to or aspire to do so someday, you have probably thought about what graduate job or part time job will you take when you are fully out and about in the market. You have also probably been reading and hearing all around the media that either there are nothing for newly graduate, or that there are immeasurable openings in the are of [insert trendy course of the week]. Fact is, if you believe either of those headlines, you are probably in for a surprise.
While the past few years did not exactly flatter European (and global) economies so much, finding a graduate job is still more than possible. The perfect CV and cover letter will help, but before it comes you will need patience and will.
Most grads, once done with their courses, will be dreaming of something strongly related with any specialisation they have studied. While this is of course understandable and even desirable, odds are the dream job will not be out there with open arms to embrace you the moment you graduate. Instead it will be around this or the next corner, and you will have to work to get it. Much like flying anywhere these days for some of the available jobs abroad, you may have to make a few connections along the way and many of these may seem illogical at first, but if you work for it in the end you will be where you want to be.
As described previously in our guides to putting together a great cover letter, employers withholding apprenticeships want to see proof that you are fit for the job. While great academic results are always beneficial, they often do not make the grade anymore: people want to see how you can handle the real thing before entrusting you with a “dream job“.
To avoid the catch 22 of “needing a job to get experience but needing experience to get a job”, you are presented with a couple of options – and no, “there are no jobs” is not one of them.
Helping other helps you!
The first one, a student’s favourite since the school days, is doing charity work. While coupling this with your studies and doing it for free may exhaust some, landing a volunteer position is far easier than getting a graduate job, and more flexible too. Plus, after volunteering in a charity you may progress onto a paid position in the same organisation. Charities look good on your CV because they show that you can survive outside the classroom and you are eager to get busy (after all, you even do it for free). Not to mention, obviously, that it counts as experience.
The second one is also as common as it gets: part time jobs. While harder to land, part time jobs put the icing on the cake – the cake here being your budget – and give you proper paid employment experience. Part time jobs come in all types and areas and can be in a company you aspire to work at or at the local pub, but above all, they will give you and your employer a taste of how you perform.
For many, freelancing will do the trick too, with the comfort of working from home and usually flexible hours.
Don’t sit around!
If you have the experience needed, but the graduate job you want is just not available right now, NEVER sit around waiting for it to happen by itself. Start with any job that will give you experience. Experience is all you need while you dream job has not landed yet. When your dream job frees up and the HR manager is between two candidates, one who started as apprenticeship and spent the past couple of years working in different positions and gaining experience of all kinds, or one who stayed idle up to now waiting for the graduate job to drop on their lap?
Graduate jobs are there for those willing to take them – it is a prime example of natural selection. Whenever you find yourself tired from trying to find work, remember Richard Bach’s quote: “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”
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Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions regarding graduate jobs? Let us know in the comments!