Despite the challenges of finding that first graduate job in what can seem an inhospitable world of doom and gloom commentators and worrying global economic trends, the job market is still reasonably healthy….for the well prepared.

So how well prepared are you? Did you use your time at uni wisely? Coming to uni meant that you lost out on potential income, probably working only 25% of the hours that you would have worked had you been in full-time employment. Let’s add to that your current student loan of say…$40,000?  At a conservative estimate your degree has cost you around $60,000. Was it worth it, you may be asking as you experience a growing anxiety about the likelihood of finding well-paid work? Living life in the rear-vision mirror is a little counterproductive but reviewing past actions and strategies with a view to learning and moving on is positive.

An article I discovered on summarises some of the key messages that the careers team at Vic Careers communicates to prospective and current students about how to get the best out of life at university. Of course you should pay attention to being the best that you can be academically but also plan to graduate with more than just a degree certificate. Make the time count.  In her article The 10 Worst Mistakes of First-time Job Hunters, Kelly Eggers summarises the key messages from a survey of US graduates preparing for the job market facing an economy in deepening recession.

  1. “I would have done more to figure out what my career goals were.”
  2. “I would have gone to the career centre.”
  3. “I would have gotten more involved in career-relevant extracurricular activities.”
  4. “I would have focused more on developing relevant skills.”
  5. “I would have taken on a job or an internship in addition to my course-load.”
  6. “I would have focused more on becoming ‘professional’.”
  7. “I would have kept better track of my achievements.”
  8. “I would have actually networked.”
  9. “I would have started looking for jobs earlier.”
  10. “I would have applied to more jobs.”

I recommend that you read the entire article. Maybe you did most or all of the ‘would haves” on the list? Even if you didn’t it’s not too late. You may have already graduated but there will still be numerous opportunities to change some of the ‘would haves’  into  ‘wills’. With a little more ‘will’ you can be more successful in the job market and the Vic Careers team is here to help.

The 10 Worst Mistakes of First-Time Job Hunters by Kelly Eggers

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Career advice, Graduate jobs, Looking for work, Skills development


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