I am a recent graduate that struggled to find a job after graduating. I found out about Making The Leap through my Job Centre Work Coach after applying for Universal Credit.
During the workshop, I gained some new resources and got tips on conducting myself at work, as well as knowledge of the many industries that I was not aware of before. I got the chance to develop my professional skills such as articulation, presenting, and researching. With this, I become determined and gained a more positive outlook regarding my unemployment situation, which helped me keep trying to find new opportunities. Connecting with people who were in a similar boat to me was great! These were people who had different industry experiences and helped resilience, confidence and drive to grow. The journey did not stop after finishing the programme. I got the support I needed with my CV and interviews. Attending masterclasses and job search clinic sessions where meeting professionals who provided me with career advice was a great experience and a major highlight to the programme.
I found my current technology role through the Kickstart scheme. The role was not quite what I wanted, but it has already helped me gain valuable knowledge and experience. Getting the job made me feel relieved that I would have experience on my CV. I was excited to put some energy and time into developing my professional skills even further. I received multiple job interviews and job offers after accepting my current role, so in the future, I see myself exploring other industries. The variation and breadth of experience will be beneficial for my aspirations, so I hope to do a few short-term contracts to garner this. The main impact Making The Leap had on my life was helping me to improve my professional portfolio and my attitude to job searching. My Making The Leap journey started with around 15 young people who like me were struggling to find a job, now we are all working our way to getting those jobs we wanted, whether it is through full-time roles or volunteering.
My advice to young people is that it is normal to fail many interviews, but do not stress or feel too anxious. Just because you received 100 rejections, does not mean that you are unemployable or a permanently bad applicant. Spend time to figure out what you need to improve and how.
Making The Leap’s services are useful, but the real value takes a while. It comes from analysing notes, rereading slides, and having conversations with your Making The Leap work coach. It comes from the many CVs and interviews help sessions you can attend. The most valuable motivation and inspiration come from the workshop activities with volunteer professionals and being inspired by the successes of those in your cohort getting jobs. Another valuable aspect of Making The Leap is networking. I did not realise the value of the connections I already had, and this allowed me to support those in my cohort access the industries they wanted to work in. I organised for CVs to be reviewed and video calls to be had. It did not result in many jobs, but a few graduates gained CV, interview, and industry advice from a Director or two. Thus, making a good impression and building a beneficial, professional relationship.