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By Maria Browne

As my May convocation creeps closer, I have developed the daily habit of checking the Career Beacon website for job postings suitable for a bachelor of arts graduate.

The job hunt can feel disheartening when such requirements as “three years of experience required in this field” appear, which makes me feel my degree and student involvement does not matter. As if this is not discouraging enough, the province’s multibillion dollar deficit and faltering economy makes the process even more gruelling.

Ultimately, the job hunt puts me in the position of waiting patiently for job postings to appear, then apply and hope for the best, or seek work outside the province.

Job hunt

So far I have applied for two jobs, one with the City of St. John’s and another with the federal government. Both of these job applications took numerous hours to complete, and included filling out applications, writing cover letters, grooming my resumé, perfecting my LinkedIn profile and asking for references.

Goodbye to the regular stress of trying to receive “As” in my courses. Hello to figuring out what comes next after receiving my degree. This stress is amplified by the fact that these jobs are undoubtedly receiving a plethora of applications. Now the waiting game begins: Will I get an interview? Will I be hired? What happens if I don’t get a job?

Choices to consider

This dreaded job hunt stress is certainly nothing new. A friend of mine, who graduated from Memorial’s bachelor of engineering program in 2014, struggled for seven months to find a job in the province. He applied for multiple jobs, received numerous interviews and finally landed a one-year contract position. It was during this lengthy process that he decided to apply for graduate schools both at Memorial and other universities on the mainland.

After careful decision-making, he chose to attend graduate school in Ontario as the project there appealed to him the most. This is a prime example of a graduate unable to find work on The Rock and ultimately leaving for better opportunities.

Further education

As a soon-to-be bachelor of arts graduate, there is one thing I do know for certain. I will be completing an online diploma in public relations with the University of Victoria. However, this program is part-time and I need a job to go with it. If given the option, I would happily stay here and work. However, applying for jobs that are few and far between creates a slim chance of finding employment, while applying for more jobs elsewhere increases the likelihood of being hired.

Once convocation 2016 has passed, hundreds of Memorial graduates will face the same dilemma of whether to stay in the province for work or leave for out-of-province opportunities. If young graduates continue to leave the province to find opportunity, where is the future of Newfoundland and Labrador?

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