Whether you’re a recent college graduate or an experienced worker who’s in the process of making a career change, getting a job in this day and age can be a daunting and difficult process. Especially when the world population is expected to balloon to 8 billion by 2024, the job competition really is fierce for anybody out there.
Getting a job depends on many factors, some of which you can control (e.g. skills, education) and those that are out of your control. For instance, you have to factor in your country’s economy, the number of job opportunities related to your field, and in general, the job prospects in the area you live in. It will really vary from person to person, and sometimes, it just comes down to luck– being in the right place at the right time.
Unemployment sucks– I get it. Even if you have the credentials and experience, as well as having the privilege of living in a big city in a developed country, you can still get turned away from jobs. You might not have the relevant experience for a higher-paying job, and you might be overqualified for entry-level ones. The job hunt can be incredibly frustrating, especially after applying everywhere and getting rejection after rejection.
I recently was unemployed, after leaving a four-year contract that I enjoyed. My time was up, and not only was on the job hunt, but I also was making a career change. I didn’t have a lot of transferable skills to make the jump to other sectors, and I also didn’t have a lot of connections to help me out (a huge regret of mine). Job applications proved frustrating, as I spent nearly two months applying to over 100 positions and receiving only a handful of interviews, some which were for roles that I didn’t even like. Alas, you gotta start somewhere, right?
Eventually, I got a job, and after going through that painful process of job hunting, I’ve realized a few things that has helped me in doing so. I would like to share with you some ways you can get a job in 2019 (going into 2020), if you’re still looking. These points are just what I’ve come across during my experience, so you can just use them as a guideline for your journey. Here they are!
5 Ways on How to Get a Job in 2019
1. Make different resumes.
While I was looking for a job, many people had told me that I had to brush up on my resume, as it was easily three years outdated. That said, I did so, but what I also want to add is that, if you’re doing a career change and are going to apply to jobs in vastly different fields, I suggest not just polishing your resume, but also making different versions of it.
For example, if you’re applying for a retail/customer service position, list your relevant experience and omit any higher education you have (e.g. college, Master’s). Most of these jobs are entry-level and only require a High School degree, so having higher education can actually jeopardize your prospects of getting an interview, as you’re deemed “overqualified” for the job. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for a managerial/mid-upper level job, include the higher education on your resume.
This doesn’t mean you have to make 100 different versions of your resume for 100 job applications– rather, make about three to five versions max, grouping them based on the different sectors you’re aiming for (e.g. retail, sales, education, writing, etc.). And of course, proofread the heck out your resume, and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion on it!
2. Stay in touch with friends and acquaintances.
Not only is having a solid support system of friends, family, and acquaintances good for your mental health, but also they can serve as invaluable connections. I’ve heard plenty of stories from people who got their jobs based on knowing someone and getting their foot in the door that way– one of my closest friends had been unemployed for over three years before her mother’s co-worker mentioned a part-time job opening in the area, and she got it!
Networking has not been (and still is) my strongest suit. I never saw the importance of it in college or in my previous job, just because I always felt it so forced and fake. I’ve realized, however, that those who do so in a “forced, fake” way are doing it all wrong– the intent isn’t to use people, but rather establish a friendship with them. It doesn’t have to be super buddy-buddy deep, but finding shared interests and experiences and staying in touch with them are ways to expand your circle, and increase your prospects not just for jobs, but also for socializing and whatnot.
Even if you’re making job hunting your “job” full-time, it’s important not to let it consume you, for the sake of staying positive and sane. Take the opportunity of getting lunch with friends, spending a day with family, or going out to meet people at a party. You may not think it’s all productive, but you never know if you’ll meet someone who happens to have a job available that you qualify for…and at the very least, you develop better communication skills. Talk to your close ones and strangers, establish good rapport, and maybe you’ll get something!
3. Learn something new.
Being unemployed means you have a lot of time to yourself– why not take advantage of that by taking up an instrument, learning a new language, or trying out yoga? If you’ve always been interested in learning coding, look into deals on coding classes online, or if you want to learn how to translate languages, look into getting certified for such services.
Up until when I got my current job, I’d decided to take online courses for bookkeeping, as I’d thought about going for administrative jobs. I got an excellent deal on Groupon to do so, and I’ve learned a bit about the technicalities of keeping track of finances so far. Although I have a job now which doesn’t require me to do bookkeeping, having this course can expand my prospects should I later choose to go into administrative work down the line.
Whether it’s taking up a hobby or studying something new, you are essentially acquiring new skills. Having skills you’re competent in not only increases your chances of getting a second look-over on your resume, but it also makes you a more-interesting person. After all, no one wants to be with someone who does nothing but sleep and watch Netflix all day, and having nothing valuable to bring to conversations, let alone work.
4. Take care of yourself.
This goes similarly with #2, but it’s crucial that you continue to take care of yourself even when unemployed. Trust me in saying that being jobless takes a huge toll on your mental health: feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, and overall helplessness aren’t the greatest sentiments to have. Feeling isolated and alone aren’t wonderful, either.
I’ve had my bouts of feeling inadequate while unemployed. Despite my credentials and experiences, I had a hard time finding jobs, which definitely hampered my self-esteem. There wasn’t a day that went by that I cried, or at least teared up, as I basked in self-pity and hopelessness.
Yet, I knew that it was a matter of gritting my teeth and continuing on– after all, what else can you do? I also started seeing my unemployment not as a waste of time, but as an opportunity to better myself, to get back into things I wanted to do that I couldn’t when I was still employed. I was able to get a solid 10 hours of sleep each night, to wake up refreshed and have the energy to work out, eat well, and develop a healthy, fit body. I read up more on politics, world affairs, and opinions from different perspectives and developing an open mind to certain situations. I enjoyed the company of my family and friends even more, treasuring each minute spent laughing, having fun, and loving each other. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is imperative, for your long-term health and also to remain stable, able-bodied, and prepared once work does come to you.
5. Never give up.
Sounds easier said than done, but it’s important all the same. It can be all too easy just to give up on the job hunt, but you also have to think what the alternative is. Some might say the extreme like suicide, but that’s not the way to go at all. You are far too young and strong not to continue living, and being jobless is only a blip on your long life ahead. You have to keep moving, keep applying, and even in your darkest moments, you will get there. Jobs are out there, even if they’re not what you’d expected, and you’ll eventually get them. There is hope for even the hopeless, and being good to yourself is how you’ll get there.
Thanks for reading. To those on the job hunt, have faith and keep on moving!
— The Finicky Cynic
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2 thoughts on “How To Get a Job in 2019”
The methods of job search are easier these days and applying is easy. However getting job is harder.
True, the Internet has made job hunting easier. However, requirements and qualifications are stacked against Millennials in terms of finding a solid job right out of college. Takes experience and a whole lot of luck to get there!