Navigating the school-to-workforce transition

I was reflecting on a personal experience today; a few weeks ago, I was informed about a potential job opportunity by a recruiter that was later offered to another candidate. While I wasn’t actively looking for roles at the time, the experience was an emotional whirlwind that got me thinking about the tumultuous journey from university or graduate school to the workforce.

This graphic accurately represents the job search cycle; while this focuses on workers that have been made redundant, it can be applied to recent graduates looking for roles as well.

Source: https://www.theworkingcentre.org/job-loss-cycle/428

It made me think about how universities might approach preparing students for the emotional toll of job-hunting and the ups and downs that come with the process.

What could support look like?

Let’s look towards the entrepreneurship space for inspiration. Whether it’s the “fail fast” mentality adopted by the Lean Startup methodology, or the recognition of the normality of rejection, the industry is known to encourage risk-taking, resilience and experimentation.

I would advocate for workshops and mentoring sessions that bring these principles to the job hunt, and encourage applicants to build determination, grit and resilience to get through the process, especially in the high-stress atmosphere brought on by the current pandemic.

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