(Original post by Johnny Luk)
I am sorry for those who feel that they are left behind after graduating.
During University people often have a aim or a focus that consumes their lives. So when they graduate there is this anticlimax, or emptiness that is often hard to fill, especially if there is no worthwhile job to enter afterwards.
Unfortunately to get into a corporate grad scheme, there is a certain 'type' that you have to get through the cycle. I treat it just like any exam, play with the game if you wish to win. That often means because a extrovert, being confident (or even slightly arrogant) and doing this may seem unnatural like networking or being aggressive. For many modest hard working people, that just doesn't feel right, and so when you get rejected from a firm (which happens to everyone, including myself), you paradoxically lose confidence that further decreases the odds of succeeding in the next cycle: resulting in a cycle of decline.
Getting a degree merely gives you the chance to open the door, but that's it. You need to fill your CV with relevant work experience, practise those online test till they are perfect. Practise competency questions, perhaps in front of a mirror, in video, with a set of questions that tend to be repeated. Assessment centres are hard, especially if your shy and you need to be assertive in a group exercise. I joined debating to become more 'combative' and did acting and dancing to improve my image. Also check out NLP (neurolinguistic programming).
Another common issue is on 'what to apply for'. This is a particular problem for woman, who often want to be the perfect fit for that job before applying. Many guys just close their eyes and apply for anything and everything, even if the fit is not that great. The latter is a good way to go about it, even if it means that you get rejected, as it gives greater experience and practise interviews. Furthermore if you happen to get a job that you don't really like, its still great experience and you get to discover a career path that you may not have done before.
So for example I applied to over 15 firms in my 2nd year, and at least 10 in my final year. Plenty of rejections but you learn from them. It sucks when you feel empty and lied to about degrees, 90% of the things you learn at Uni is useless unless you go into academia. Its the transferable skills that count and the ability to be your own 'spin doctor'. Depressing? A bit, but real life? Sure is.
Keep your head up, don't believe in the headlines, graduate jobs are increasing, not decreasing. Opportunities are vast, competition is high, but here is a good analogy that I always tell my peers.
Say pre 2007, the top 30% of competent graduates get a good grad scheme, say now in post 2007 it is only the top 20%. Do you notice something? The top 20% for both era's will still get the job. Thats what you gotto do, get to the top. Its a dog eat dog world out there, use that to push yourself to the limit. Because when you get to the top, in a s****y suit in a glass building and looking at the sights, its a great view.
The Higher Education system needs to be reformed, this academia stuff is just students funding lecturers 'pet' projects, while saddled with poor, irrelevant teaching that only suits the 5% who choose to go into academia in a (probably eventually unrelated) field.
Keep your head up, its how you deal with adversity that makes you to the top!