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Why I Can’t Find a Job After College & What to Do about It?

Megan Mulroy, LCPC

One of the most difficult transitions to make is moving from college life to full-time employment.. If you are a new grad struggling to find a job- you are certainly not alone. I work with several young adults that are finding it challenging to find a job after graduation. This transition is fraught with anxiety, and rejections can be a hit to your self-esteem. In this blog, I will go over some of the reasons why  finding a job after college is so difficult and what you can do about it!

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Find A Job After College

Your Degree

It is really common to be disillusioned with your degree and areas of study once it is all said and done. Perhaps you majored in architecture and found out over the course of four years that it isn’t actually for you. In my experience, I have noticed that employers care less about what degree you have, and just care that you have one. 

What can you do about it?

Try not to let job postings influence whether or not you apply for the job. Try and identify the transferable skills that your degree gave you and leverage them into the job you want! For example, I used my people skills that I learned from my psychology degree to land a job in corporate sales- with no previous business experience!  Remember, your broad skill set offers more than your degree title alone – This is key in beating the job-searching blues.

Competition

Many people are going out for the same jobs you are, which can be daunting and scary. With my clients, I sometimes see that the fear of competition prevents them from applying for jobs or going after a stretch opportunity. Because rejection is such an awful feeling, people will try to control that outcome by avoidance; simply not applying or phoning in the interview. 

What can you do about it?

Identify your fears of rejection and be mindful of the ways in which you work to avoid those feelings. Remember- it just takes one employer to notice you. 

Entry Level Jobs that Require Experience

This is probably the biggest complaint I get from my clients in the entry level job market who can’t find a job after college. How on earth are you supposed to have work experience in an entry level job? 

What can you do about it?

Even if you don’t have an internship to show on your resume, you can leverage your class experience here. Was there a project you did in school that mimics what you would do in this role? Do you have any life experience that can demonstrate your ability? It is important to think outside the box and utilize what experience you do have, even if it is not in the traditional sense. 

Networking

I also very commonly hear how networking is a total pain and very anxiety-inducing for my clients. There are some traditional networking avenues that are really helpful, like going to job fairs, talking with professors, and attending networking events. In my personal experience, I find it important to try and make networking fun or part of your everyday life. 

What can you do about it?

If you are hanging out with like minded people or are friends with someone with a cool job – talk to them about it! At the core, having discussions with people is networking. Strike up a conversation at a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or gym! Networking doesn’t have to be scary unless that is the story you are telling yourself. 

Am I Being a Bother?

Follow up, follow up, follow up! I cannot stress this enough. Employers and recruiters get hundreds of emails a day, and it is important to stay on top of them! So many of my clients will worry about ‘being a bother,’ and won’t follow up before or after the interview process. Remember, these employers want you as much as you want them (if not more!). Following up shows initiative and it is also a great way to stay on someone’s radar. 

Can’t Find A Job After College and Feeling Frustrated? Let’s Talk

Finding a job after college and navigating post grad transitions can be really challenging. If you find yourself struggling with this transition from college to the real world, you might want to consider getting help with career planning or individual counseling

Feel free to reach out to Symmetry Counseling by calling 312-578-9990 to get matched with one of our licensed counselors, or just contact us online.We are here to help you kickstart your post-college career.

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