How time has flown by since I made my first post; and yes, there have been a few developments, many dead-ends, and even more MIAs. Currently, I am still a professional- ok, part-time professional- job hunter.
When I left Beijing as an intern, I landed in Wellington as a career-seeking graduate; bright-eyed about job prospects and excited to embark on the journey. However, when I got comfy on the couch and discovered The Fosters on Netflix, holiday mode kicked in and I was churning through more episodes than job applications on a daily basis. Desire for the ‘I-can-buy-the-skirt-full-price’ salary took the backseat.
But at two weeks, it hit me. I was bored, I hadn’t heard back from any job that I had applied for, and I wanted to move some saved items into my Asos bag (all that spare time lead me to online window shopping, inevitably). I have been employed since I was 16; enjoying not only financial freedom but thinking, learning, adapting and achieving in different tasks and situations every shift. I missed the challenge of proofreading a 30 page report in an hour, charming a tricky customer and not resorting to a refund, translating a Google-translated document, and (even I’m surprised) replenishing 2 boxes of fiddly stock on sole charge in a three hour shift.
So I made a game plan. To increase my chances at landing an interview, I needed to increase the number of applications I made. Simple, right? I should have started a plan from Day 1 but as they say, #hindsight, #betterlatethannever, #organisationiskey.
Realising I was most productive after my morning bowl of oatmeal, 9-12am is designated to applications: writing cover letters, tweaking my CV and composing the email. Lunchtime is a laptop-free hour (sometimes two!) for a necessary mind and screen break. 2-4pm in the afternoons is for proofreading, editing and pushing ‘send’, and that final hour is spent hunting for more jobs to apply for. By 5pm, I’ve got a new window open, ready to go for tomorrow, each tab open with a different job and only to be closed after I send in the application.
It’s not rigorous, and it’s not everyday, but it means I have some structure, and I have some goals. I would recommend looking at your schedule, formulating a plan and treating this like a job; you need to get work done. My day changes depending on available jobs, errands and general life. However, as that morning slot is key to my productivity and potential hiring, I make sure any socialising, TV watching, or procrastinating is at least a post-lunch activity. Prioritising fits hand-in-hand with organisation.
Each day continues to be a learning experience, and a battle against holiday-mode. Any tips out there for me and the rest of us grads? What have your own experiences been like? I would love to soak up the wisdom, or empathise if you’re like me: comment below or tweet me!