Undergrad to Unemployed: When A Degree Doesn't Equal A Job

Congratulations! You’ve finished college and officially have a degree in the bag. You’re ready for the big bad world of full-time employment and to be honest, kind of excited to move on to the new stage of your life, the stage of your life that won’t involve dirt-cheap noodles and 4 day long benders. But what happens when the world of employment isn’t ready for you? Here’s how to cope with going from full-time student to just plain jobless. Maybe you should hold on to those cheap noodles for a little while longer..

1. Relax.

You’ve just finished a year of exams and dissertations, and a stress level you didn’t think it was possible to reach. You deserve to take some time to wind down from the turbulence of final year, so give yourself a few days to chill out, drink some wine, and maybe dye those stress induced greys out of your hair. Getting a job is important, but so is your well-being, and a few days break between college and job scouring won’t kill anyone. Plus you have to take the time to say goodbye to the bouncers that you’ve had a love/hate relationship with throughout your undergrad.  Maybe it’s time to go for that coffee that they were always so adamant on you getting.

2. Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail.

So when you finally feel rested and somewhat back to normality, it’s time to get down to it. Planning always helps give the illusion of having your life together, and sometimes it actually even works. Set yourself simple goals every day, like updating your resume or writing a cover letter, and then work out some long term plans like maybe setting up interviews with job agencies and giving yourself some sort of a deadline to find yourself that job. But remember, plans change and life can be a lil bitch sometimes so if your plans fail to come to fruition don’t be too worried, just change them and just keep going.

3. Moving Back With The 'Rents


You’ve lived on and off with your parents for your degree years, having the option to go back to college when they nag one time too many. But now, without a job and without college as an excuse to live away, your only option may be to move home. Sure it starts off great; you have your dinners cooked for you, your clothes always smell clean, you can see your dog all the time and you haven’t smelled damp in weeks. Soon though all the dinners in the world cannot make up for the feeling of independence that comes with living away from home. The tipping point will come when you find the top you presumed missing from the move in a pile of dirty laundry on your sister's floor. Use this anger and use it to fuel your job hunting fire. A job = money = moving out = safety of your personal belongings.

4. Build Up That Experience.

Experience is vital in the big world of adult employment, and since you’ve probably been in full-time education since you were four the likelihood that you have some real tangible experience in the area that you want to be in is slim. Internships are a great way to get that all important ‘experience, but a lot of them are unpaid which means they aren’t a viable option when you need that post-college moolah. But the paid ones, or even the ones that cover expenses, can look great on a CV, as can any little bit of experience you can pick up on the side. I hear a certain popular website is looking for content writers for anyone looking for a place to publish their work too.. *hint hint*.

5. Say Yes To Everything

Soon enough you’ll start getting feedback and maybe even a few interviews, and even if they aren’t for the exact type of job you wanted there’s no harm in going for them. If the job isn’t for you at least you’re still adding to your employability by building your interview experience, and you may even find yourself in a job your never imagined you’d be in, and loving every minute of it. Your degree might say business, but your heart is saying digital media.

6. Try Not To Freak.

Don’t panic that you don’t have a job straight away, things will work out. Although living off your parents for another few months mind sound awful, it's not the worst situation to be in. You just need time to find your feet in the world. This is a whole new chapter in your life and quite possibly the first time in your life when you don’t have school or college to go back to in September, so it’s OK to freak out a little. But then again, this is the first time that you have the opportunity to do anything you want, there are so many possibilities for you. So just relax, it’ll all work out in the end and remember; if Britney made it through 2007 you can make it through this.

Eimear Scott
Article written by
Twenty year old college grad with an unhealthy obsession with her dog, pizza and crime documentaries. I like to pretend I'm above reality TV, but honestly I can say 'Say Yes To The Dress' has made me cry on several occasions. Bring me coffee when I'm hungover and I'll love you forever.

You may also like

Facebook messenger