Life as an unemployed graduate is certainly not the easiest. Where do you find your motivation when you have no reason or purpose to wake up for? This is something I have struggled with since last Summer, and after a lot of down time, I believe I am back on the road to productivity. But you may have no idea how to fill your day without a job fuelling each hour. Well I have created a little list that I have entitled ‘Steps to Success’.
At this moment in time, we have the perfect opportunity to work on ourselves and our professional development. I am striving to make the most of this time, as I know as soon as I have a full time job, I will never have this sort of time again. So yes, watch that Netflix show, bake banana bread and spend time with friends & family. But, I believe that doing these steps regularly and setting aside time to sit at a desk and ‘work’ will help make life feel less sluggish and more productive! Even though these habits have taken me a long time to grasp, it has certainly helped me get my career progression back on track.
- Educate Yourself! There is always more to learn, so try to keep on top of the news and latest trends. Keeping up to date with say PR Week is a great place to start. Also, follow other PR’s and try to use Twitter regularly. They will more than likely share insights about the industry and will bring the latest trends straight into your feed. Following like-minded people will provide an insight into the world of PR, and hopefully grow your network too! If you’re a student PR blogger, PR Place are great to connect with. Another suggestion could be Carrie Rose from Rise at Seven who is making real moves in the industry at the moment.
- Find others. Try to find like-minded people online and keep in contact with them if you can. Support them and their endeavours and I am sure a great relationship will begin to form. Not only will your professional network grow, but you will form friendships and a support network unlike any other. I would absolutely love to create an online community of young PR professionals. Whether you’ve studied PR, worked in PR or are just interested in PR, we should be supportive and help each other towards our goals.
- Update your CV & Cover Letter regularly. This is such an important use of your time. It is always good to check it, then check it again! I don’t think either a CV or cover letter will ever be perfect! Now is the time to make it relevant, hone your skills and really show what you are made of.
- Send speculative emails. This is a great way to just test the waters. It is incredibly hard to stand out nowadays; so write a compelling email and convey your passion. Try to target specific agencies/individuals within the industry and make sure you do your research! If you can, mention a favourite campaign of theirs and say what it is you admire about them or their work. It is also great advice to try to avoid sending emails to a generic admin/business email address but instead try to find a specific name to email directly. (LinkedIn is a great tool in finding professionals who work at a specific company).
- Research job openings. Of course, if you’re job hunting try to stay on top of the job boards. A super boring task I know but you never want to miss an opportunity. Think about LinkedIn, JobsInKent, Twitter etc. and check them for new roles regularly.
- Use LinkedIn. A lot of people tend to assume LinkedIn is for ‘serious’ business professionals, and often isn’t relevant. But, if you don’t put yourself out their on social media already, LinkedIn will be the place employers will go to see who you are and what you have done. Ensure you keep your profile updated, post if you can and engage with others too.
- Follow bloggers. More often than not, it is us bloggers who have the key! We are here to inform, and help where we can. So, read their posts, comment and engage regularly. You never know how useful it may end up being, not only for your own development but also supporting bloggers in their endeavours too!
I personally persevered with one specific agency and their CEO, mainly through many emails and Instagram DM’s, and because of that they hired me for a one month contract! It is literally all about putting yourself out there and making sure your name is memorable (obviously without harassing or being annoying!).
I know these kind of things are easier said than done. But, if you feel like you are living in a weird limbo period, then give some of these steps a go and let me know how you get on! And if you get stuck, drop me a DM or email, I would love to support you in any way that I can.