A turbulent political and economic climate undoubtedly adds to the challenges facing graduates entering the workforce today. Post-pandemic the landscape of work is almost unrecognisable and a job for life is no longer guaranteed — or even desirable. It can feel more than a little overwhelming, but there are measures you can take to plan for a meaningful work life in spite of these uncertain times.
Don’t resist uncertainty. Embrace it
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is,” wrote mathematician John Allen Paulos. “Knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” Accepting that there will be uncertainty will also help you to consider the opportunities that uncertainty might bring. Research shows that job uncertainty, for example, tends to take a more significant toll on our health than actually losing our job. While our brains may be hardwired to resist uncertainty, the truth is we can never really know what the future will bring. If the pandemic taught us anything it was to learn to live with ambiguity. Lean on those lessons now.
Invest in yourself
The best resource that you have right now for making a contribution to the world is you. When that resource is depleted, your most valuable asset is damaged. Humans struggle to achieve anything worthwhile when we defer maintenance on ourselves. So make time to sustain the relationships that bring you connection and meaning. While it might seem basic, getting enough sleep and resting when you are tired can make a big difference. And while you’re at it, make time to relax and have fun.
Stop looking for a magic solution
If we’re waiting for someone or something to rescue us from all of this uncertainty we avoid taking responsibility for our own lives. Then we start to feel powerless and trapped. By contrast, when we are proactive about making the changes needed to gain more control over our careers we empower ourselves and tap into the things that are really important to us.
Focus on what you can control
What is your career goal and what small action can you take today to bring you closer to it?
Focus on activities inside your control: your skills, experiences and choices. From a career point of view, up-to-date, deep technical or vocational skills and broad, transferable employability skills are key. Build your vocational skills for example in coding, learning a language or writing a blog. Outside work, gain experience and transferable skills by joining a charity board or volunteering.
Seek new opportunities
The only way to give your career the kick-start it needs is by entering the workforce and getting to work. Even if all the uncertainty is impacting your perceived career plan, very few people have a linear journey to success and it’s in the curves and twists you’ll learn the most. Experiencing different workplaces, systems and cultures is a really good basis for deciding where you really want to be, so just get started.
Ready to explore your career options? Here are some excellent companies currently hiring.
Airbnb is hiring a Business Operations Intern, Hosting Geos
The mission-driven company is dedicated to helping create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. Airbnb’s various functions embody the company’s innovative spirit. The Homes team is seeking an ambitious, bright, forward-thinking, entrepreneurial and high-spirited intern to join its Italian and Spanish team. The intern will be based in Milan, and will join a very fast-paced environment in two of Airbnb’s most dynamic and high profile markets, with a diverse community. The business operations intern will focus both on business development opportunities and data analytics. They will have the possibility to learn and assume the responsibility of driving new business opportunities for the region, as well as providing fundamental data insights to local market teams.
Working from the London office, Hubspot offers a variety of educational and inspirational content — from blog posts to lessons and full certification courses — which provide valuable business training to people all over the world. This educational content generates new customers for the business and delights existing ones in service of achieving their business and career goals. The company is looking for an individual who is passionate about creating educational content in French to help millions of organisations grow better. While fluent French and English is required, Hubspot is quick to highlight “We know the confidence gap and imposter syndrome can get in the way of meeting spectacular candidates, so please don’t hesitate to apply — we’d love to hear from you.”
Grant Thornton is looking for an Audit Associate II
One of the world’s leading organisations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms, Grant Thornton has revenues of $1.92 billion and operates more than 50 offices. There is an opening for an Audit Associate II in the company’s Houston office. The successful applicant will apply their knowledge of GAAP to assist in all stages of an audit, as well as train and supervise new associates during an engagement — all with the resources, environment and support to help you excel. You’ll be empowered with access to firm leaders and mentors, training programs, resource groups, team-based communities, and growth opportunities to help you develop your career and achieve more, confidently.