All your course mates have their lives sorted out, they’ve either landed their dream job or they’ve started up their own events company, but you’re unemployed, broke and sitting around the house watching Netflix and feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Although it may seem like you’re the only one, there’s plenty of us in the same unemployment boat. The following tips may seem like common sense, but when you’ve been unemployed for a little while it can be easy to forget the basic steps. So here are some obvious but useful points to help you stay on track during your job hunt.
Show employers what you’re passionate about
Remember back in your first year when you volunteered for every little community festival and student event that you could find? You would supervise the bouncy castle, marshal the car park in the rain and run the cake stall? (without ever getting any free cake.) Not always exciting, but you were just starting out and had to prove your commitment and passion. Now you’re a graduate, you have a degree and work experience and you probably think that you don’t need to waste your time with anything less than a paid events position. But whilst you’re between roles, you need to show potential employers that you’re still committed to your career ambitions. An employer may not look favourably at your application if you’ve been unemployed for six months and haven’t done anything events related.
It may seem like taking a step backwards but take a leaf out of your student book: volunteer at events, take up a short internship or work placement, attend events and write reviews or posts on social media, go to industry talks and conferences, run your own events. Doing something in the events world will reignite your passion, remind you of why you want to be in this career and motivate you in your job search. Find a way to express how passionate you are and that shows your commitment to the industry.
Use social media strategically
Event Managers love social media. It allows us to be constantly connected and prevents us from ever missing out on any exciting new events, a new development or trend. Throughout your degree you probably followed hundreds of event related accounts and you still receive tons of updates that you rarely pay attention to. We all know personal social media is completely exaggerated and an unrealistic representation of someone’s life, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get jealous and unnecessarily depressed when we see photos of our friends backstage at an awesome festival or our course mates tweeting ＃dreamjob.
It’s important to keep up with industry news and keep your eyes peeled for any new job opportunities, but you don’t need to spend eight hours a day scrolling through your course mates’ Instagrams. Easier said than done, but take a break from personal social media, stop torturing yourself by stalking your friends and focus on company profiles. Those annoying updates you get? Actually read them. Instead of mindlessly looking through your Facebook feed, check out your favourite event companies, industry blogs and event related groups. Use social media strategically to gain the information you need but avoid the information that will make you feel bad. Taking a break from personal social media will give you a clearer perspective and allow you to start making progress towards your own dream job.
Unemployment can be pretty lonely, especially if you’re an Events Manager. As a group, we typically get described as sociable, chatty and outgoing. In our industry we’re constantly around tons of colleagues, clients and suppliers, developing relationships and meeting new people everyday. Finding yourself unemployed and suddenly spending the majority of your time alone can be really depressing. Doing most of your job search online and constantly receiving automatically generated emails saying you’ve been unsuccessful can make your future career seem hopeless.
Remember that being social is one of the key talents of Event Managers. Go for a drink with your friends, buy a coffee for your boss from your old internship, meet with your university lectures, attend networking events, do something to get yourself out there. You never know who might know of a job opening or who might have event contacts and can pass your CV along. Even if nothing comes out of it, spending time around people will make you feel confident and happier in your current situation.
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Being unemployed is crap, but you don’t need to make it any harder on yourself. Remember these top tips to help you remain productive and positive in your job hunt.