While pursuing my Bachelor’s in Social Work, my department faculty raved about how easy it was to find a social work job. Anywhere. Anytime. It was so incredibly easy. They said that Social Work is one of the most versatile degrees, because you can move anywhere and still have a job.
There are a million things that University Faculty will tell you, and how almost impossible it is to find a job isn’t one of them.
I moved to Denver, Colorado in January of 2019 to finish my Social Work Practicum. By May of 2019 I officially had a BSW. At this time I had been job hunting since February. And I still didn’t have a job. Between the months of February and June of 2019 I had applied to 172 Jobs. In those applications I only had 10 interviews. The other 162 applications turned into rejection emails. I even applied to three different positions within my internship site.
Why was I rejected? Simple. Two words: experience and education. No one wants to give you the time of day if you don’t have those two things. Everyone wants their applicants to have 40 years of experience and a Masters. How are we supposed to gain experience if no one is willing to give us a chance?
Finding work after graduation might be easy for everyone else, but it has been such a frustrating journey for me. Here I am in November of 2019 and I still can’t get a job in social work. I’m not saying I’m ungrateful for the job I have now. I truly am grateful; I just want a job in my career field.
What I’ve learned so far:
- DON’T GIVE UP.
As discouraging as rejection emails are, don’t let that stop you. I know it’s easier said than done to not get discouraged, but you have to keep trying.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around!
The only reason I have a job now is because I asked people I knew at my internship site if they knew of anything. Making those connections is so important. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, I would highly suggest making one.
- Avoid the comparison game
It’s hard not to, I know, but try not to compare yourself to where your friends are. All of my friends have wonderful jobs and did not have as hard of a time as I am having currently. Just remind yourself: you are you and you are on a different path than everyone else. Your time line does not have to match everyone else’s.
Are you having a hard time finding a job after graduation? Tell me about it!