business student life

5 ways to cope with unemployment after university

Written by Claudia Cole

So, you’ve finished university and the graduation ceremony has come and gone. The question that usually follows is, what now?

There is, undoubtedly, a tremendous pressure on graduates to secure a job, preferably one that makes use of their degree. So, if you find yourself unemployed sometime after graduating, it’s easy to feel down. As the weeks begin to turn into months, the excitement of your new-found freedom may wear off and you could possibly find yourself feeling lost, with no sense of direction.

Luckily though, there are some simple ways to help you embrace this new chapter, simultaneously boosting your chances of landing a graduate position.


Accepting your situation doesn’t mean giving up. It simply means to recognise the comforting truth, that you’re not alone. Despite employment rates for graduates falling to 5.1% in 2018 – the lowest since 1979, 500,000 young people ages 16 – 24 were still unemployed 2019. You are one of many, struggling to find work. Therefore, it’s important to let go of all expectations, to not compare yourself to the success of your former classmates. That can easily lead you spiraling down a dark path of self–doubt. No matter how unpleasant and unfair it may seem, you must remember that this is all temporary and to continue treating yourself kindly.

Create a daily routine

Having graduated with student life put to bed, your life might be lacking a sense of structure. You can easily overcome this with a positive daily routine. It’s been known that routines helps reduce stress and maximises productivity. Not only does help you establish your priorities, but it also keeps track of your goals. This allows you to set up a well thought out plan.

The real job

Just because you’re unemployed, doesn’t mean you don’t have a job to do. The most obvious tip, something you may already be familiar with, is to actively search for the right role for you. There is thousands of job vacancies online, some in which looking for suitable candidates like yourself. However, if you’re not clear on what career path you want to take, now’s the time to take the opportunity to identify what jobs best suit your skills and interests. That way, you won’t wind up in a full-time position you aren’t sure you really want.

Brush up your CV

Polishing your CV and cover letter is vital as it can help increase your chances of attracting employers. There’s plenty of guidance online as well as free templates to help you structure your CV. You can also take this time to build up on your skills and experience. One of the best ways you can achieve this is by volunteering. There are several organisations that are in need of constant volunteers such as Age UK, Cancer Research UK, and Barnardo’s. In addition to offering your valuable time, you can gain transferable skills and grow your network of contacts that may benefit you in the near future. Giving back to good causes not only benefits the charities themselves, but it can be deeply rewarding and big confidence booster.

Take some time for yourself

Remember, you’ve graduated. That’s a huge achievement and it’s important to take the time to acknowledge that.  It’s understandable to feel burnt out, especially after years of working hard to earn your degree. But if you have already accomplished this much, you’ll definitely accomplish more. Just be mindful of how you spend your free time and have fun. After all, you deserve it.