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Just Graduated? No Job? Do These 9 things.

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

You have graduated! Congratulations! The hat has been flung and the diploma [cover] is in your hand - don’t worry, the real thing will come in the mail later, hehe! As a postgrad, you know the struggles of staying up late to finish that paper or study for that test. You’ve practiced for hours to perform the perfect jury, and you’ve learned to avoid 7 a.m. classes. You have also gone through the struggle of deciding on your major and perhaps you were like me and changed it three times! Now you are standing at the entrance of the work world, fresh out of university, with most jobs wanting 3 years of experience.

I know what it’s like to not have a job after graduation. Heck, I’ve been there twice! But all is not lost when in that situation. It can be frustrating if your dream job isn’t opening itself up to you right away, but here are a few things you can do in the meantime:

Just Graduated? No Job? Do These 9 things. | www.maplealps.com


 

1) Be Open

Widen your search parameters. Rather than focusing on your ideal job, focus on the one that fits your interest scope. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like, but be open to the unexpected. Who knows? Maybe that entry-level job that you were not really looking forward to will really open your eyes to a passion you never knew you had! You might even end up working in countries or place you never thought possible!

 

 

2) Stick to a Schedule

Stay on top of those applications and be timely in it. Dedicate certain days to do hardcore job searching so that you don’t lose momentum. Rather than sitting and waiting (because you never know when someone will get back to you), use your time wisely. Do activities that will increase your chances of landing work.

 

 

3) Reach out to your Network

This one does not come easily to me, so it may not for you. If need be, stick your neck out! I’m sure you have heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” and that truly is an accurate statement at times! Send out an email to a trusted advisor, or meet someone in your same field over coffee. Don’t be afraid to make that phone call. Sometimes, jobs aren’t always listed and you can get the scoop on some of those! If nothing else, you can solidify relationships along the way.

 

 

4) Practice Your Skills - Or Build New Ones

Now that you are unemployed, it is a great time to practice your skills! This is actually how Maple Alps was born - during a season of unemployment! You may not have employment, but now is a great time to add tools to your toolbox that will make you a top rate hire! Focus on things that are of interest to you that can help you get a job in your field. If you’re interested in writing, start a blog! If you want to do photography, why not hone in on your graphic design skills? Learn calligraphy. Take some online courses. Do something you love. Pursue both professional and personal passions (loving that alliteration!)!

 

Related: Fun Creative Ways to Learn New Things (Without Going Back to School)

 

5) Finetune your Resume

Make sure your resume is gold. I’m sure it is already up there, but put in some extra effort to tailor your resume to the job you are applying to. Spend some time on it, making sure you take off any irrelevant information, and highlight the things that make you shine!

 

 

6) Reevaluate Your Finances - Or Make A Plan

Unemployment doesn’t usually bring in the big bucks. If you are in this boat, and especially if you have student loans you still need to pay off, it may not be the best idea to use up your cash reserve unnecessarily. Make a plan - whether that means learning how to cook more meals, not going to Target, or even getting a roommate. It looks different for every person. Evaluate your priorities so you will feel more comfortable and more in control of your situation.

 

 

7) Consider an Internship or Volunteering

I know, I know, you want to make money and many internships are not paid - and neither is volunteering. That is okay. Make the best out of interning/volunteering by logging hours, networking, and developing your professional skills. Wake up, dress up, and show up!

 

 

8) Stay Positive

It is easy to get frustrated with not having a job. I know, because I’ve been there plenty of times. You may not get your dream job right away, and what you thought was your dream job may not end up being all you thought it was going to be. Stay positive in your season of unemployment. And take care of yourself. Enjoy it, and use the best of the time! There may come a day when you will miss the freedom you had.

 

 

9) Pray About It

Be intentional about everything you do in this season, including praying about your situation. A hard prayer I prayed when unemployed was closing doors if it wasn’t the right place for me to be. Closed doors happened, but when the right door was opened, it was truly the perfect fit. Praying about it and doing the above 8 things, rather than being discouraged when years of unemployment went by, helped me stay faithful and hopeful that all was happening for the best. When I look back at that now, I can see it - even though it was hard for me at the time.

 

 

 


Did you get a job right out of college? What's your story? I'd love to know! 


 

On Comparing Yourself to Others

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Is it just me who has struggled with comparing myself to other people? I used to catch myself feeling sorry for myself when thinking about others people, or seeing their lives flash before me on social media channels. It used to consume me. I moped around in a constant pity party not seeing any value or worth in who I was and it affected every area of my life. I did not realize that comparison for me was truly just another word for envy and idolization.

I am sometimes tempted to think less of myself and watch and romanticize and covet the lives of those around me. The other extreme of comparison can lead to self-righteousness; thinking we are better than others. When I do catch myself, I find that doing the following tips help me quickly get back on track. 

Look to Jesus

The only true comparison we should care about is our comparison to Jesus. We are called to be like Him, so why do we bother looking at anyone else? As one of my favourite hymns goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of earth will go strangely dim…”. To be like Christ, we must look at Christ.I could honestly end my post here because this is the key, but I will go on and share some more practical points...

 

Find Inspiration

Choose to be inspired by the stories of others. I have personally been inspired by those who have complete, sold-out lives for the Lord and who make a difference in others’ lives - including my own. 

 

Count Your Blessings, be Thankful & Choose to be Content

Count your own blessings and recognize what God has done in your life. I guarantee that if you look back, you can see His leading. Remember His leading in the past, and trust He will lead you now if you continue to surrender yourself to Him. Be thankful, and you will have a hard time complaining. 


Embrace Yourself

We are all individual beings with quirks and personalities that are unique to us. It’s unfair to compare our individuality with someone else’s.

 

"Compare" Yourself To Yourself

Challenge yourself in the areas you want to improve! Chances are, you already have! I have kept a journal for years, and once in a while I'll go back and read entries and see how much I've changed and grown. I'll pour over the stories of challenges I've overcome and am encouraged. 

 "But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. For each will have to bear his own load." Galatians 6:4-5

 

Steer Away from Social Media

Let’s talk frankly for a second. While “Keeping up with the Joneses” has always been a thing, social media has increased our awareness of what everyone is doing. But here’s a secret: most people just post the best versions of themselves. I was talking to a friend who was recently on a trip. I was telling her how fun her trip looked based on the photos and such she was posting. She looked at me blankly and said, “I actually had a terrible time. I only posted the fun-looking stuff to make it seem like I was having a blast. Social media only sees the best parts, not the real story.”

I have since decided to stop scrolling excessively (or obsessively) through social media because every time I do, I'm tempted to want the lives I see through my computer or phone even though reality may not be portrayed.

 

Remember that Photoshop Exists

If you, like a lot of people on this planet, struggle with comparing yourself not only to the lives of your friends, but to the images plastered on billboards, in magazines, and the stars who lead seemingly perfect lives, remember that most of the time, these things are far from reality. For years we have been trying to reach impossible beauty and lifestyle standards - all in vain. Remember that we are all unique and that the images that are thrown at us at every side are often made to appear better than they truly are.

 

Move On - You’re Wasting Time

You only have so much time in a day! Why waste even a minute loathing in self-pity and wallowing in sadness as a result of comparing yourself with others?

 

Be Happy for People

Genuinely rejoice for others’ successes and blessings. This will make it hard for you to be resentful towards them for something you cannot help. 

 

Read the Scriptures

Read God's Word! There are so many promises and verses that tell us how precious we are to God. Among those is one of my favorites that reminds that while men look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

 

bible promises
 

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? What helps you? Let me know below in the comments!


 
 

7 Ways to Increase Your Prayer Life

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps28 Comments

"It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone." - Hudson Taylor
 

"Why pray? Why love? We might as well ask, why breathe? One is as natural and necessary as the other. Where there is love, there is communication, there is prayer. It could not be otherwise." - M.L. Andreasen

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Record Your Prayer Requests and Answers

I love recording my prayer requests and answers. Just looking back at them and remembering, helps me be hopeful - especially when I’m going through a difficult situation. I know that God has led me in the past, and He has my present and future. The Bible is full of references about remembering, and this is one way I can look back and praise God for His leading.

 

Pray In Your Free Time

Find and down time in your day and use the opportunity to pray. I have a 30-minute commute, and I have started using that time to pray. It has drastically enhanced my prayer life, and it has become more natural for me to just start talking with God as I go through my day.

 

Pray When It’s Quiet

In Mark 1, it describes how Jesus rose long before the sun even had risen and went to a solitary place to pray. As we are called to be like Jesus, I take my example from Him. I have found that when I rise early for prayer, there is such a quiet and a calm and I can really focus on my time with the Lord. My whole day goes by smoother as well.
 

Make It A Habit

Be intentional about making time for prayer. Set alarms if you need to, but be consistent. I know that some people may think this may be legalistic, however, it is far from that. We schedule times to exercise, eat and wake up and work, and these things all eventually become habits with time. Why should prayer not have a special place in our day? Prayer is the breath of our spiritual life - without breath, we are dead.

 

Get A Prayer Partner

Find someone to share and pray with.

“There is unusual power in united prayer. God has planned for His people to join together in prayer, not only for Christian fellowship, spiritual nurture, and growth, but also for accomplishing His divine purposes and reaching His chosen goals.” (Wesley L. Duewell, Mighty Prevailing Prayer, Zondervan, ©1990, page 123.)

 

Write Down Your Prayers or Pray Out Loud

I used to find myself very distracted in my thoughts when praying and started physically writing out every word of my prayers in journals. I then also found that praying out loud was a great help. If your mind is wandering during prayer, why not try one of these methods?

 

Pray and Claim Scripture Promises

God has given us literally thousands of promises in His Word! They were given to us to claim in faith! Write them down and take them with you, or even better yet, memorize them so they’re always in your heart 

bible promises www.maplealps.com