Looking for a job as a graduate in the pandemic

The task of finding a job is naturally quite demanding - relentless applying, interviewing and possible rejections are all part and parcel of such a feat. Add a pandemic into the equation, and arguably completing the task may now seem out of bounds. That’s how I’m feeling.

I recently just finished my degree which means the job hunt is well underway and the ‘Unfortunately you have been unsuccessful….’ emails are rapidly rolling in. It seems like an uphill battle and especially when I have taken the (many) rejections personally. Some may disagree, but looking for a job as a graduate in a pandemic is tougher because of the fierce competition.

Many graduates are searching for their first full-time job - not necessarily their dream job but a job they’ll be excited to go to. However, some graduates feel they now have to settle for roles they are less excited about for financial reasons. The pandemic has tumbled the job market and by extension the job prospects of many - meaning saying yes to any job is becoming more frequent.

Not only has the job market taken a hit but also unemployment is rising. Compounded by the fact that companies have frozen internship schemes and graduate programmes, it is clear that the worries for graduates’ future is well-founded.

A report by the Institute of Fiscal studies found “Experience from previous recessions tells us that graduates will be less likely to find work and will start off in lower-paying occupations than they might have expected.The report - aptly titled A Bad Time To Graduate was published in 2020 and expects that finding a job will be harder now compared to the 2008-9 recession.

But we don’t need to read reports to know the difficulties we are facing. The uncertainty of our futures is a harrowing feeling. Research by UK-based graduate jobs website Milkround shows a shocking 18% of graduates secured jobs in 2020 compared to the typical 60%, a clear indication of how the job markets and by default graduates are coping. 

With the global economy set to experience the deepest recession since WWII, according to the World Bank, graduates continue their job search. The class of 2020/21 have faced unprecedented obstacles - job searching is just another one. 

The last thing to say, really, from a graduate to another, is to keep going. We will make it happen, there is a job for us out there. 

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