“What am I doing with my life?!”. Safe to say that is a sentence I have been saying a lot more recently, as the job hunt continues. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve not applied for a huge number of jobs, only ones that seem ‘perfect’, and I’ve not really received any rejections as such. So it’s not as if the job hunt is going horrifically, I am just slowly losing confidence. Perhaps not in myself, (I am wonderful), but perhaps in others’ ability to recognise this(!) When I was a young child, I wanted to be a teacher. Then a child psychologist. Then a dancer. Then an actress. And so it went on as I began to realise, it’s not that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but that I couldn’t choose between it all!
When I started uni, I wanted to be an actress. As my course went on, I fell in love with performance art. And politics. And Amnesty International. And feminism. And charity. I graduated and became the Vice President of Arts and Sciences. It was here I realised that I am good at social media and digital marketing but also that I love to write and make videos. I have always enjoyed helping people and I love coming up with practical solutions.
I had all these ideas and passions but no idea what to actually do! After a bit of a self-indulgent cry on a Friday night, we formulated a plan, which may just help you if you ever feel like this.
Step 1: Choose someone you love, and who knows you well, to write a list about you. Get them to write your strengths, what you can do, facts about you that may be useful. During this time, you can be enjoying beverage of your choosing whilst you compose yourself.
Step 2: You now have the paper/cardboard/napkin that your elected person was writing nice things about you on. Take a second to fluff your ego by reading what they’ve written, before adding your own. Now’s not the time to be modest. Make sure you write specific skills (Adobe Editing Suite for example) as well as general qualities. Start a new section where you write the things you are passionate about. Don’t worry about trying to be ‘cool’ or making yourself look like a ‘good’ person. If all you are passionate about is wine, Disney and chick lit, that’s fine - you rock that. Don’t worry about trying to work out how you could find a career that ties any of those things in, just write!
Step 3: Pour yourself another glass first of all, and grab some kind of electronic device. One that connects to the internet. Find a good, reliable website that you can find out what jobs suit your personality. If any of them jump out at you as jobs you wouldn’t hate, write it on the list. Don’t take it as gospel, some of mine were horrific and very not-me, but it’s a start. Next, find a list of all of the jobs. I found them on the Prospects website (http://www.prospects.ac.uk/types_of_jobs_browse_all.htm) and it was pretty easy to use. Then, methodically, work your way down the list. Any that catch your eye, open in a new tab and read a little more. Prospects is pretty great for giving you an idea of the salary and expectations of a role, as well as what qualifications you’ll need. Write down any that you could genuinely see yourself doing.
Step 4: Go to bed. Happy in the knowledge that you’ve been productive and proactive in finding a new job! The actual search comes another day!
The best thing about this method is that you’ll find things that either a) you didn’t know were jobs b) you hadn’t even considered and c) you didn’t know the name for - Yay! It also gives you the chance to see on paper all your qualities and skills, which will hopefully reinstate some confidence in yourself.
Good luck on the job hunt, let me know what works for you in the comments!