Q&A: You Never Know Until You Try

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I recently graduated from college and am excited to search for a job in my field. But I don’t think that I am really qualified for the jobs I want. I’m kind of nervous about job searching. Should I wait until I feel more confident?


Congrats on your college degree!

It’s normal to be nervous about your first search for a job using your new skills. But don’t let your lack of confidence keep you from applying for positions.

It’s never a good idea to put off a job search and wait for different or “better” jobs to open up. The job market is unpredictable and no one can say with certainty what jobs will be open and which companies will be hiring next week, next month or next year. If you see a promising job lead today, act on it ASAP.

If you are waiting to job search or only half-heartedly job searching, what are you doing to keep your skills fresh or gain new skills? If you wait six months from graduation to start job searching, how will you explain to an employer what you have been doing those past few months? How have you spent your time improving yourself? How have your actions in those months of not job searching made you a better job candidate?

One of the best ways to overcome fear or nervousness is to simply jump in and do something positive. Apply and interview for jobs in your field and take a job that’s offered. It may or may not seem like a great job, but it will be a guaranteed learning experience.

If you can’t find a paying job in your field, find a volunteer position where you can use your skills and new ones. Employers are impressed by job candidates with community service positions on their resumes that are related to their profession.

Only through paid or volunteer work in your field can you really get an idea of what the day-to-day work experience is like in your new profession. Only by working will you truly understand how your education prepared you for this field. Only by working will you really find out what aspects of the field you like and don’t like, and which skills you are really good at.

It’s easy to look at a job description and say it’s not the job for you. But you will never really know what a great opportunity that job might be until after you accept the offer and start working for a few months. Don’t let your imagination or negative thoughts keep you from taking advantage of real opportunities.

The more resumes you send out, the more feedback and interview offers you will get from employers. Getting information from employers about what they like and don’t like about your skills and experience will help you to know what your strengths are, and where you need to improve. Just knowing where you stand with employers will help you to feel more confident in your skills.

If you are seriously job searching, going on every interview possible, and have not been offered a job, at least you can say that you are trying. You are learning from the experience, and that will make you better prepared for the next interview.

Keep looking up!

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