How To Deal When You Don’t Have A Full-Time Job


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Ugh… Jobs. Full-time jobs. Adulting. Blech.

Look. Adulting can be so so fun, and we don’t want to turn you off from the idea. But if you just graduated and are still riding the I-don’t-have-a-job bus, you’re probably a little bummed out. Like, this was supposed to be done right now, right?

Well… Maybe. If you’re lucky.

The truth of the matter is it usually takes most recent grads in today’s economy a few months to land a job in their field. You have nothing to worry about. You’re doing just fine.

But if you’re still bumming hard about not having a job, we’re want to help. Here are a few things you can do to pass the time until you land that *coveted* full-time job. And hey, these just might bring you one step closer, too.

Get a part-time job.

We get it. Filling out the barista application can kind of feel like giving up on your super professional job search. It can be a little defeating, and after four years of hard work, we know you don’t want to feel defeated.

But we also know this: signing on at your local Starbs is not binding. You won’t be standing behind that counter forever, but maybe you should be right now. Given the cost of student loans and apartments and kinda-sorta-maybe accidental online shopping binges, you shouldn’t feel too good for any kind of paying job, even if it wasn’t your dream.

And like we said, it isn’t binding. The great thing about part-time jobs is that you have pretty flexible hours and can easily work in time to keep up your job search grind. And as soon as your big girl job inevitably comes, you kind of have the freedom to give your two weeks completely guilt-free.

Freelance.

Alright, alright, probably easier said than done for some industries. If you’re looking to go into, say, accounting or sales or something businessy, we totally get it if you skip this section. But if you’re a creative, please hear us out.

Freelancing isn’t the easiest or the most lucrative route. We know. We get it. But when you’re just waiting around for your first full-time gig, freelancing is probably the best thing you can do, and we can give you two super good reasons why.

First, freelancing straight up just gives you a way to pass the time. If you’re busy doing little graphic design projects (even if they’re just for friends or family), you might not think too much about the unfairness that is your lack of employment. You’re welcome for the (potentially) money-making distraction.

Second, duh, it helps you build your portfolio. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find some artsy fartsy job that didn’t ask you to submit samples from your portfolio. We know that you know that, but did you know freelancing is probably the number one way to keep that portfolio fresh? Relevant? Professional? Maybe not.

Revamp your resume.

While you might not have any new experience to add to your resume, sometimes it’s nice just to give it a little makeover. Like, we still love to go shopping even though our closets are pretty much overflowing, right?

Try fooling around a little bit with the layout, testing out subtle color or font changes. We know you want your resume to look totally ~profesh~ but adding a dark grey or deep green accent color somewhere on the page might be exactly what you need to totally refresh your look.

Besides, taking a second look at your resume is a total ego booster. When you’re doing little things like cleaning up grammar mistakes or making an old position sound a little more juicy, you get to see all the super rad things you’ve done. Like wow, you really did lead the student council to get rid of that nasty breakfast in the dining hall – you can totally do this job thing, it’s just going to take a little bit of time.

Take some time to self-reflect.

The job search is seriously exhausting, at least mentally and emotionally. After four years slaying the game in school, you surely think you’ll be employed come graduation. And when that doesn’t happen? Well, it can be kind of a blow to the ego. Seriously. A lot of us have been there.

While you’re playing the job search waiting game, it can be easy to get lost in a series of self-doubts. Am I really good enough for my dream job? Did I actually just waste four years of my life for this? Will I ever be good at any (legit, any) job?

You’ve got to keep that chin up, buttercup, and maybe take some time to self-reflect. Because we know you’re awesome, and we’re pretty sure you know that, too. Try doing some things to restore your faith in yourself, like reading a book that’ll feed your soul or writing out all of the reasons why you know you could succeed in your dream job.

Take it easy on yourself, because in the end (however long it takes us to get to that end), we all end up where we need to be. Let things surprise you, because you never know what will be the greatest thing to happen to you.

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Sara Heath

word lover. chicken nugget eater. bear cuddler. | As seen on Her Campus, Unwritten, Huffington Post, Thought Catalog | www.mynameisnotsarah.com | @_stuffsarasays

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