Greetings from Beirut, Gradberries!
This is my very first blog post at Gradberry and I am hoping that what I have to say helps you guys out! Today’s post is about that very awkward phase (no, not puberty) right after you graduate. You all know how tempting it is to just be a bum and live off Mama and Baba forever, but yeah, not going to happen! So here are a few PRODUCTIVE things you can do while waiting for you and your job to make eye contact and fall in love forever and ever and ever and ever (yes, were going to be working for a long, LONG, time!)
Numero Uno: Fix your sleeping patterns!
I can bet all my future earnings that 90% of fresh graduates have turned into vampires and many of you may have forgotten what daylight looks like. NOT GOOD. How are we all supposed to be productive members of society when all we can do is sleep? How I ask, HOW?
Having experienced this one too many times, I have two solutions to this problem.
- Option one (the quick fix): Stay awake all-night and then all day till around 6 PM and fall into your semi-coma sleep. You’re going to feel jet-lagged for about a week because you’re sort of switching time zones, but then it’ll all work out fine.
- Option two (which is a long term thing): Delay your sleep by one hour every night until you get to the time you want!
I know it seems a bit silly to give it this much attention but seriously, how much work can you get done at night? I recommend Option two, to prevent zombie-like behaviour for one entire week.
Numero Dos: Pimp your CV
Now you’re going to be applying to many jobs so your CV should sparkle! How you ask? I’ll tell ya!
Learn a new language or computer program.
- Language: This will give you a one up on your competitors. Imagine having Japanese on there, okay maybe that’s a long shot. But French and Spanish are easier to learn considering we can all speak English (they all have roots in Latin). A language is always good to have especially if you’re aiming for a multi-national company.
- Computer skills: Now I’m not talking about your run of the mill Microsoft Word, because if you can’t use Microsoft Office programs by now, shame on you! I’m talking about Adobe Illustrator or FinalCutPro or Adobe InDesign or 3D CAD or C/C++ (Google them) even if none of these are in your field they’re fun to learn and again, they could give you a one up on the competition.
(Enough with the Spanish) Number 3: Stay up to date with current events.
Why you ask?
Well, many of you know that since the recession hit many companies have been laying people off, merging or filing for bankruptcy. So wherever you’re living, stay informed about the business conditions. If you don’t know what’s going on you could be applying in all the wrong places. Certain types of companies will no longer be hiring, and if you send your CV in you’re going to feel pretty silly! Also, if an interviewer wants to ask you something about a current hot-button issue and how it affects your industry, and your reply is a blank stare (duuuh, I donno), well, you can guess the outcome!
Number 4: VOLUNTEER! (This one is important)
Nobody and I mean NOBODY likes to work for free! But since you’re bumming around with nothing much to do, why dontcha get up and help someone else out! There are a number of organizations in both Dubai and Beirut that are always looking for extra help. And of course for a little incentive, it looks great on your CV! There are some places that you can volunteer that have relevance to your industry and that can be a little extra perk. For example helping at the Dubai Film Festival while you’re majoring in film studies looks real good. Ta-da! You get experience and a little extra something for your interviewers to take into consideration.
A list of good organizations to volunteer with-
- http://www.volunteerindubai.com/ – These guys are working on a number of projects you can help out with and all are for admirable causes!
- http://www.dubaifilmfest.com/index.php/en/particiapte/volunteer/ – As I mentioned before film festivals usually welcome volunteers and it might be a great opportunity to meet some celebs!
- http://www.gulf4good.org – This is another great place to be, its fun and you help so many people around the world. This is a few examples of their accomplishments taken from their website: “- building a community hospital in Nepal – building classrooms in Tanzania- supplying 4 ambulances in Kenya” That’s pretty impressive if I don’t say so myself!
- http://gradberry.com- We are looking for volunteers too! Gradberry is always searching for people, who would like to gain some work experience, in various fields. So, if you’re interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and assist in a worthwhile cause: spreading information about careers and employability to the youth, and getting them employed!
- http://www.altcity.me/ – Now these guys are cool! They want to help out and encourage start-up businesses. They give them spaces to rent, help them out with social media etc. (This would look GOOD on a CV)
- http://www.pacescharity.org/ – Help young Palestinian children in learning the importance of sports and being physically active. This charity is active in 3 countries! Very wonderful accomplishments!
- http://www.nasawiya.org/web/ – Women’s rights in the Middle East, always a worthwhile cause.
Number 5 (Last but not least): Be happy and healthy!
I say be happy because chances are when you start working you won’t have time to BE much of anything! Enjoy this time with friends and family you don’t see often. Join a gym to stay fit and eat healthy to stay, well, healthy. These tips will keep you in tip top shape for whenever you get called for an interview. Healthy mind, body and soul!
In the words of Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back”