Picture the scene: the end of uni is fast approaching, all of your mates have already snagged that office job down in the Big Smoke but you’re still making your way through the barrage of companies offering ‘unique’ and ‘unmissable’ grad jobs, that all kind of seem to be the same? Trust me, I’ve been here, last year in fact – and it ain’t the most fun position to be in.
I graduated from my Masters degree in November of 2018, and after a stressful, but rewarding year of studying and working a zero-hours contract I was ready to step into the ‘real world’ of work. And after all the blood, sweat and tears shed (read: many, many tears) of the last year, I wasn’t prepared to sleepwalk into the first job that landed on my newly-capped head.
So, how do you cut the wheat from the chaff?
You’ve got to sit yourself down and have a good, hard think about what it is you value. Are you, like Jessie J once so wisely stated, all about the money? (money, money). Is it that dream role? Dream company? Or is it really about working somewhere who knows what they’re about and knows they need some top-quality talent like yourself?
I’ve got to say that I went with the latter. Opting for a company that lives and breathes their purpose gives you somewhere where the work will be challenging, (in a good way) and meaningful, all the good stuff that the newly-graduated Gen Z students are after, besides, who wants a career that doesn’t really mean anything?
The resulting effect is, in my experience, the beginning of a career in a company whose purpose drives everything they do. It’s seeped into the pores of the old Grain Warehouse we call home, into every employee and certainly into every piece of work we produce for our clients. My days are filled with stimulating tasks that push me further, simultaneously allowing me to rest easy knowing that everyone at Born + Raised are working for a collective purpose.
Lists, lists, glorious lists
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t function without a list. Post-it noted lists singlehandedly dragged me through uni life (that and Google Books; lifesaver). But in case you’re not weirdly dependent on them like I am, or even if you are, here are a few pointers for you to consider to help traverse the tricky world of job hunting from a gal who’s been there, done that and got the pile of discarded lists to prove it.
1. Why do you like what you like?
Think of your favourite brands for a moment. What is it that you like about them? Dig deep down as to why you choose these brands and pretty soon you’ll notice a pattern, think of these traits as a crib sheet or your future job hunting, it’ll put you in good stead.
2. Do your research
I know it seems an obvious one, but it’s something that can’t be stressed too much. Have a look into the company, have a mooch around their website and social media, you’ll soon get a grasp of who these people are and what they’re about. Plus, if they’re any company worth their salt, they’ll know that prospective colleagues will be inspecting these channels, so want to show the outside world who they are and what they stand for.
3. Test the waters
So, you’ve got your checklist, you’ve identified a seemingly-good company and you’re on your way to the interview in your I-Got-This blouse. Make sure you go armed with a number of questions. The best piece of career-related advice I’ve ever been given was from a stranger (a story for a different blog), who told me to “never forget, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you”. And that’s all the confidence you need to ask them a bunch of questions. Don’t be afraid of asking the big things either, you need to know your purpose and values match theirs. It’ll all come good, I swear.
The takeaway for us (and employers) is: we want to work, but also feel like we’re doing a good thing.
I am not a number
This article is the third in the series about Gen Z and how to harness the power of brand purpose for this new generation. Discover more insights and read the whole content series here.