The Unconventional Guide to Landing Your First Job

During my first year of university, I remember how excited I was to start my career as a business professional in Accounting. Motivated, young, and passionate. These were some of the ways you could have described me during that time. 

Unfortunately things don't always go the way you want. Days, weeks, and months would go past and landing my first professional job was tough. It was frustrating, heart breaking, and soul crushing to not hear back from so many applications. 

Luckily things have changed now. Businesses are now seeking for me to work for them rather than the other way around. This article is really to share some of the strategies that has helped me land really good roles and my experience as a headhunter for variety of companies in Australia seeking top talent.

Strategy 1 Find Your Purpose:

Finding your purpose is the most critical step in anything you do. It is the starting point for why you are doing what you are doing. This is important because when you find out why you are you doing what you are doing, you will find a way to fulfill on that purpose, regardless of what barriers may arise.

Some of the ways you can find your purpose is asking why you want to do what you want to do. Then ask why again. And again. And again, till you discover your real purpose for doing what you are doing. 



Strategy 2 understand EMPLOYER'S Needs:

This is something I learnt in my recent role dealing with HR Professional, Managers, and CEO's every day. Positions are created to fulfill a certain need with a business. What's important about this is that even though different businesses may be looking for the same role to fill. Both businesses will be looking for different qualities in their candidates based on the business and their needs. 

This is really important to know as you understand the needs of your ideal employer, you can tailor your qualities and skills based on their needs. This will also help you in your career as you as start developing the skills, qualities, and experience your ideal employer may be looking for. 

Questions you need to start asking yourself are:

  • What kind of person are they looking for?
  • What kind of skills do they require?
  • What kind of experience are they looking for?

Once you have identified what your ideal employer is looking for, you will be able to take arcuate actions towards Strategy 3. 


Strategy 3 Develop Your Technical And Soft Skills:

Continually developing your skills is one of the most critical things you can do both in your professional and personal life. In today's environment this should be easy with the vast resources available online from university courses like Coursera to e-books and online video training on YouTube. In addition to all of this other ways you can develo yourself volunteering, internships or investing in training your skills via classes. This is important as both technology and globalisation is changing the workforce of today and you need to be ready for such competitive marketplace.



Strategy 4 Share Your Passion:

Share your passion and let the world know what you are out to create in life. An opportunities arises when you start actively letting the world know what you want. Prof Wiseman conducted a research called The Luck Factor which found that lucky people maximise chance opportunities by being open to new experiences and taking control of the situation. So get out there and start sharing what you want. You never know what kind of opportunities come your way. 

In my experience you can do this by putting yourself out there. Examples include attending networking events, sharing what you want with everyone you meet, and meeting new people. 


Strategy 5 Go Networking Events:

Networking events, it's one of the best ways to get to know more people in your field of work. It's why I love it. You just never know who you will meet and what kind of opportunities will come by. I believe attending events is great for two main reason firstly you get meet some great people that you may find hard to meet and secondly you get to learn something new that you may find useful in the future.


Strategy 6 Go Out and Hand Your Resume:

Yes, it may be confronting and it's one of the best ways to put you out there. The reason being is that you just never know who's looking for a new position to fill. This works really great within the small and medium sized businesses as it saves them time and money searching for a candidate to fill urgent. If you are to separate yourself from the crowd it's worth a try.


Strategy 7 Persistence Makes The Difference:

I think this is the most critical strategy as there is going to be times where you just want to give up. For some, landing their dream job is quicker than others. What is more important is to be persistent. If you really want the career you envision, continue to be persistent and continually develop yourself until you get to where you want to get to. 



In conclusion, for many students and fresh graduates landing your first dream job can be very both exciting and challenging. If you continue to implement the above seven strategies and put yourself out there. You will land your dream job.

Pjay Shrestha