Unemployment woes, Afghans sing

The ceremonies are over, the gowns are returned, photos developed and your parents aren’t that proud of you anymore. Now comes the time for many, many of us to sit down in front of the computer or hover that giant Sharpie pen over the newspaper, and look for someone who is brave enough to hire us. This post (and probably many more to come) is mostly a venting one I apologize, but whatever, I KNOW I’m not alone in these thoughts amongst UBC’ers.

I’m staring at my diploma and it doesn’t even highlight what my BA degree was in. Dear diploma, what good are you for?! I admit, I have harboured dreams of getting hired instantly now that a piece of cardboard certifies me as a bit smarter than a portion of people out there. Now I say to myself “YOU FOOL!”. To date, I haven’t heard a word from every little thing I’ve applied for. I can’t help but feel like someone stamped the letters “REJECT” on my forehead or as Helen Fielding brilliantly once put it – “Felt like me dad did when he put a cake into the Grafton Underwood fete and when he returned to it after the judging it had a note on saying, ‘Not up to Competition Standard.'” Anyway – tips or advice, readers? I’m hearing stuff about “Cold Resumes” where you randomly send in your CV/resume to organizations and companies basically to try your luck, and “informational interviews”. So much to learn…

I need a pick me up… hmmm YouTube time! If you don’t know by now, Afghan Idol is pretty amazing. It’s the type of development I could go for anytime.

Afghan Idol – part 1

PS: Vancouver barely makes any headlines whenever I hit Reuters (my homepage). But this bizarre bit of news about 4 different severed feet is starting to creep me out. Next up, 5th foot found on shores of Wreck Beach?

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Vivian is always a proud Hong Konger but true to Vancouver at heart. She has just about three months left at UBC and intends on making the best out of it. Besides International Relations and French, she mostly busies herself with traveling, food and everything about it. Be her e-Friend, s'il vous plait.

2 Responses to “Unemployment woes, Afghans sing”

  1. Kerrie

    Don’t get discouraged Vivian! Or anyone!!

    Do:
    * Tell yourself every day that you fully deserve a great job. You do.

    * Apply for a wide range of jobs-even if it’s not your dream job, being employed somewhere will make it easier to get a better job elsewhere. (“She looks like she doesn’t even need a job-let’s hire her!”)

    * There is a difference between a student’s CV and a professional CV, make sure yours is updated.

    * Tailor each cover letter specifically to the job-a sassy blogger and e-friend of mine has written a great post covering CV and letter tips: http://jibjabbery.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/resume-writing-simplified-by-a-condescending-voice-of-reason/

    * At job interviews, inform the interviewers of your highest ambitions. They will see you as a smarter/more talented person if you have lofty, socially-approved goals. “She wants a PhD? Well then she must be smart!” Well I want a creme brulee too but that doesn’t make me a chef-but you don’t have to remind interviewers of that 😉

    * Keep volunteering, getting out there, meeting people in your prospective field and asking their advice.

    * Learn big fancy words for stuff you are good at. Some committee you were on could translate into “volunteer management”, “community networking”, “event organization” etc. Don’t exaggerate, just put a nice shiny coating of awesome on skills that probably come so naturally you don’t even think of words for them in the first place.

    Don’t:
    * Think that a social sciences degree doesn’t have any real professional value. As an IR grad, the two most common questions I get from acquaintances is “well what can you do with IR anyway??” but also “wow, how do you know all that stuff about the world?” Coincidence?

    * Let your relatives tell you all about the “great” ESL teaching “opportunity” they heard about. ESL teaching is for women of our generation what secretarial work was for women of our mothers’ generation. You didn’t study IR for that. Seriously. Even if it is kind of fun and the kids are so cute, bless their young hearts. So full of life, so bright eyed-ahem, my main point is, ESL is not a smart career move in the long term!

    * Assume that a few months of elbow-greasery in a boring job will determine the next few decades of your career. In fact, you might be surprised at what you learn.

  2. Vivian

    lol ESL teaching… I think you’ve pinpointed there Kerrie a good cliche. I think what’s big lately is teaching English in Japan or something. Thanks for the great tips!

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