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... I was looking forward to this new stage in my life. However, no-one tells you what will happen once you get your degree...


"As a student I worked for many years towards one big goal – my final degree. Once the big day arrived I felt happy, relieved, and I was looking forward to this new stage in my life. However, no-one tells you what will happen once you get your degree.

Initially, it was a great feeling to be a graduate, but little by little I got aware that I was no longer belonging to the category "student". That meant, first of all, no more student benefits, but also, no more structured life. And while the first weeks as a graduate were relaxing and full of free time, suddenly I got bored and I wanted to feel productive again. This was the time, when I turned from a graduate into a job seeker.

My days were filled with screening job offers and writing applications. However, I didn’t get an answer on most of applications. Therefore, by the end of the day, I felt like I had done nothing, because I did not have a real result.

When I got invited for my first interview, it was like a little success! However, while preparing, I realised that nobody had ever prepared me for doing an interview, and I did not quite know what to expect. That was the moment when I decided that coaching would help me. And it did!

First of all it helped me to speak with my coach about my concerns and worries regarding the job search. I could have talked about these topics with my friends and my family too, but it is much more helpful to talk to an expert, who knows the job market, the trends and who offers solutions and new ideas.

What helped me most was to see job seeking as my current job! I divided my day strictly into job search time and free time. Furthermore, I decided how I could use this stage in my life in the most effective way. I thought about things I always wanted to do and things that would make me more competitive on the job market. I started a language course and I continued studying.

Moreover, thanks to coaching I could develop a job search strategy. I clearly formulated my job search criteria and together with my coach I decided whether my criteria were to narrow or too wide. This technique helped me identify the right job offers to apply. Furthermore, applying the criteria, I created a list of organisations I would like to work with, and I kept checking their job postings.

I also practised many job interview questions, which helped me staying calm during the interview.

It still took a few months, but then I got a job. The above mentioned techniques helped me a lot. I experienced job seeking as a very lonesome process at the beginning. Therefore, I found it useful to talk to other graduates and job seekers about my experience. I think it is always easier to handle a new situation, if you have someone with whom you can share your moments of success and of frustration.  Moreover, I searched for leisure activities, where I would meet new people.

My advice is to be aware that the job search could take a few months. Sometimes I just wanted to get any job in the wide field of my expertise, so that I wouldn’t be a job seeker anymore. However, then I thought of my perfect job and remembered why I wanted this exact type of job and that motivated me. Sometimes it is taking just a little bit longer, but it is worth waiting and keeping focused!"


Christina, 25, works in Law/Foreign Relations, Austria

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