You’ve waited for this moment for YEARS. You are finally able to walk onto the graduation stage and receive your ticket to adulthood. You have a degree. Now you can finally get that dream job so that you can live the life you always imagined.

Then all your friends get jobs and despite all the interviews you’ve been to, no one has called you back. You’re beginning to feel despondent. This wasn’t the way things were supposed to be!

So how do you stop yourself from losing hope when its been months since graduation and you’re still unemployed? Here are five strategies that will help you stay motivated:

  1. Be stubbornly optimistic: Even though things haven’t gone the way you hoped, decide that you will stay positive. Our thoughts dictate our actions. One way that you can focus your imagination is to find a picture of a professional working in the environment you see yourself in and stick that picture on your bathroom mirror. This will be one of the first things you see every morning and will help you to activate your subconscious mind to seek out this desired reality.
  2. Sign up for some volunteer work: Get creative about seeking opportunities that will help you gain valuable work experience that will bolster your cv. Volunteer at a local charity or store at your nearest mall. Be humble and put your hands to something – you will be surprised what opportunities will open up for you. If you’re worried about what friends and family will say to you if you do this, just tell them: “this is going to be a great chapter in the bestselling book about my life one day!”
  3. Think outside of your industry: Don’t be afraid to look outside of your field of study. Even if you’ve studied information science for example, look at possible opportunities outside of the primary industry that could use your skill set. Most skills are transferrable, so be flexible and creative when looking for opportunities.
  4. Find a mentor who can help you: It might be difficult to acknowledge that you’ve been struggling to find work. You don’t have to cope with this pressure on your own. You need help to get from where you are to where you want to be and a mentor can help you do that. You might feel more comfortable confiding in someone who is not part of you your immediate family or friendship circle. Most people are willing to assist so don’t be afraid to keep asking until you find the help you need.
  5. Make getting a job your job: You might be tempted to give up when your attempts at job hunting is not yielding results. Try to approach getting a job just like you would prepare for an exam or project at university. Research how to maximise tools such as LinkedIn, watch videos on Youtube about how others were able to step into employment. Plan your day and week the way you would if you had a place of employment to go to already. If you reflect on what you’re learning in this process, eg types of industries that require similar skills, you will be able to keep yourself motivated. One day things will turn around and you will be able to provide support to other graduates in their job searches.

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