Written by Kirsten Taggart
I’m currently in Australia taking some classes and learning what life is like in the southern hemisphere. Even more, I’m learning some important lessons and tricks on how to advance my career away from home without a job or an internship. Whether you’re also abroad, a recent graduate, or simply want to plan ahead, it’s always beneficial to know how to be productive on your own time.
We’re facing an unemployment rate of 9.1% (underemployment is at 19.2%). There are approximately 21 applicants per job position. Intimidating? I certainly think so. But you can have a major advantage over your competition simply by making yourself known and getting your name out there from wherever you may be.
Being away from home, I’ve found the best way to do so is to stay connected. Email previous employers/professors and tell them what you’re up to, what you’re planning on doing in the near future, etc. Maybe they know someone you can contact.
Be vocal on Twitter – when I say vocal I don’t mean telling the world that you broke up with your boy/girlfriend via a sappy song lyric. Twitter is a branding source so use it the way you would want your employers to view you. What are you interested in? What relevant articles have you read lately? Who are (or aren’t) you following? Twitter is great for making connections in your industry and finding open positions.
At the same time, go out and meet people. My goal here has been to meet the locals and find out what they do, what working in Sydney is like, workplace dynamics, etc. Who knows, you might find someone in your field that can help you out.
Here’s a recent example of how networking can help you anywhere in the world. TalentCulture recently took on a few new talented bloggers. I tweeted them a small community welcome, which led to a conversation with William. Before I knew it, he was sending me the contact information of his friend in Australia. Now I have a local connection and an opportunity to expand my network.
In the past few weeks there have been numerous articles on the best and worst advice for college students, but the most valuable tip I’ve heard so far is not to limit yourself. Put yourself out there on social media – in the end you’ll be available to a much broader job market.
If you would like to read more on the world of work for new grads, check out Tuesday’s #TChat recap.