As a graduate of 2018, the job market was very different to the current market for graduates when I graduated. Nearly every person I graduated with managed to get a job within a year, be it at Tesco or in the design field (my area of expertise).
I was the only one of my entire 49 person class to decide I wanted to work for myself (after a number of interviews, that is) and a lot of people, including a couple of my tutors, said at the time that I was mad for it, saying I didn't have enough experience or that I would struggle to find clients out there in the big bad world. But I also had people who encouraged me to go for it, including my former college tutor, who offered to mentor me and send some work my way should it come about. Without that encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Now back to 2020, the coronavirus has caused businesses to go under and many people are now without a job. So the question many graduates are now asking to themselves and to people around them is “what now?”
I have had multiple discussions with various business people around leicester and have come to the conclusion that graduates have a few options for what they could do during the lockdown/pandemic situation;
- Go back home and live with family for the duration of the pandemic, aiming to get a job after lockdown is over
- Get a job in somewhere that is still hiring, such as the NHS, care agencies, essential services or supermarkets
- Start a business in your field, join online networking events & facebook groups, create a following on social media, create a website and get the business off the ground with support from local networks and funding providers such as the prince’s trust or your local council
- Become a freelancer for the duration of the lockdown, with the aim of building a portfolio of work,make some quick money or just gain some experience to fill your CV. Sites such as freelancer.com or fiverr.com are good if you are looking to gain work quickly.
- Volunteer with local organisations as a way to support the local community and build close relationships with businesses/charities, this may be a way to gain a job after COVID-19
As a member of the business community and a recent (near enough!) graduate, I understand the feeling of dread you get once you have actually graduated and you wake up the next day, thinking “what now?”. Hopefully this has helped to give you some ideas for what you could do to keep sane during these unprecedented times.
If you are starting a business and would like a free, no-obligation consultation on how I can help you start and grow your business, get in touch!