Don’t lose sight of what’s in it for you.
It’s a full-time occupation looking for a job, and nobody is paying you for the time and energy that you dedicate to the process. In the current climate you can be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that your limitations have been exposed, the scope of your original ambitions was in la-la land and it’s a waste of time applying for any roles advertised because nobody bothers to respond. Whoever claimed that “there’s no such thing as bad experience” never had to try entering the job market during a pandemic. However, annoying as it seems, they did have a point.
Think of yourself for a moment, for all that hard work doesn’t have to be a thankless task. Done right, there IS tangible value to be gained from job-hunting. There are benefits to be had and you’ll be the richer for it, even though you’ll be signing your own pay-cheques.
Improve your aim.
You may not have a clue what you want to do at first. Everything and/or Nothing is the starting-point for a huge number of us but the list of career-paths that simply don’t appeal will grow by the day and be consigned to the bin. At the same time, feedback from networking might spark ideas for further exploration, and engaging with contacts on LinkedIn is an excellent way to stay current, fuel curiosity and experiment with your own level of interest.
Job Descriptions are notoriously complex, and it’s a miracle if they find anybody who is genuinely compatible with those interminable lists of required skills. You may never be given much detail of why you’re not accepted for the role, but by putting your CV through Jobscan you can get granular information of where you’re coming up short. You might be more qualified than they thought but if you never mentioned all those relevant key words – how were they to know? More importantly, after a while you will get a feel for those trending skills/interests that with a bit of application are well within your reach, ie you could improve your IT skills, take that (free?) coding course, complete those compliance exercises and raise your compatibility score to a level where you’ll get onto the recruiters’ radar.
Think of an idea – any idea. It doesn’t even have to be your own, but imagine how the likes of Jeff Bezos, Laura Tenison, Bill Gates, J K Rowling and Jo Malone got themselves started. Going through the motions of how you’d make an idea commercially viable will have you touching on a number of key skills that one day will be scattered throughout your CV, eg:
Commercial Awareness, Self-Motivation, Budgeting, Marketing, Advertising, Fund-Raising, Creativity, Ambition, Accounting, Branding, Business Plans, Website Building, Business Development.
Back in the real world.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves, for you may have decided that you don’t have it in you to ‘go-it-alone’. However, anybody who has ever employed you or given you work experience may have once felt the same way. Cast your eye down that list of bullet-points on your CV, and if you failed to pick up any of those skills listed above at the time it’s not too late to do so now. For example, to be able to demonstrate Commercial Awareness there’s a simple discipline to follow…. But that’s the subject of another blog.