Graduate resilience and rubber bands

graduate resilience

One of my favourite synonyms for ‘resilience’ is ‘elasticity’. It might not immediately resonate with you, but think of it like this. Resilience isn’t about being tough until you snap like a piece of waxed string. Nor is it about being completely pliable like a piece of playdough. It’s about the ability to consciously stretch yourself when the pressure is on, and return safely to just about your normal shape thereafter. Kind of like a rubber band.

In job searching it’s important to remember that there’s only a certain number of factors you actually control.  For instance, you definitely control the qualifications and experience you offer, and through training like Successful Graduate, you can learn to take control the personal attributes and values you highlight – not to mention how you showcase all of these features to a potential employer. But you don’t control who the other applicants are, any preconceived ideas of recruiters, perhaps any internal pressures placed upon hiring managers, the state of the economy…you get the idea.

But a resilient graduate still steps up and submits their best application. Because do you know your chances of getting a job you don’t apply for because you’re stoically sure you won’t get it, or you’re simperingly certain you don’t have a chance ? Zero. And do you know the likelihood of learning something without being brave and open-minded enough to phone for feedback on your unsuccessful interview? Zero again. It’s like hoping to win the lottery without having bought a ticket.

In short, a half-hearted approach won’t help a potential employer to choose you whole-heartedly.

And your future clients and customers will certainly expect you to go the extra mile for them! In fact, Australian entrepreneur network The Collective Hub offers some great links to Harvard Business Review resources to develop your self-awareness and skills in the resilience arena.

Of course the flipside of diving in head first is that you’re also allowed to feel disappointed. It means you care. And this is the start of your career, so it’s well worth caring about. My rule of thumb is this: you’re allowed one night of feeling a bit glum. Reach out to a friend for a chat if you need to. Or eat a whole tub of icecream on the couch if you want. But the use of dramatically absolute terms like ‘hopeless’ is banned.

And if nothing else, tomorrow will bring you one day closer to the role that will eventually start you on your career path. Don’t know exactly what it will be yet?  That’s the exciting part.



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