Working with students I am around young people looking for jobs and waiting to start their careers on a daily basis.
I have recently been able to share my own job seeking history with several members of staff, and I have to thank the employers who employed me (obviously) as well as the ones who didn’t. The latter were right: When you interviewed me I would have not been happy working in a men’s prison, or as a library assistant responsible for storytelling in a children’s library, or a library assistant in a hospital.
Not getting certain positions opened up new opportunities that otherwise would have passed without me noticing them or giving them much thought. For example, working in a bookshop made me more patient, self-assured and marketing-savvy; working as a library assistant/librarian/supervisor in HE showed me the system from all angles; working in a public reference library and EU information point gave me new ideas for working with information, developing services and helped me understand more about people and politics. Some jobs simply showed me what I don’t want to do.
My main tips when applying for jobs and going for interviews:
- Visit your potential future work place, get a feel for it and the people who work there.
- Don’t apply for every job going; be choosy. A professional post isn’t everything.
- Be honest, and think on your feet.
- Say if you don’t know something and need clarification.
- If you are not the chosen candidate ask for feedback but don’t take it personally. Learn from the feedback and try again.
- And a general one: Don’t listen to what others say you should do, earn, enjoy. Switch off your social networks once in a while and be quiet. You don’t have to comment on everything.
Good luck with the job hunt!