5 Tips for Establishing Your Worth in the Job Market

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After you graduate from university, you may be competing for jobs with people who already have several years’ experience. It can be difficult to feel you have the high worth of these candidates — but showing you feel this way when interviewing could mean you end up losing out on a position or accepting something lower than you deserve.

It’s important to remember that you’ve learned valuable skills during your time at university and through other experience, including internships, volunteering, and part-time jobs. There are several things you can do to make sure potential employers fully recognize your value.

1. Show Off Your Knowledge

People who have been in the field a while may have forgotten some of what they learned in university, whereas all this knowledge is still fresh in your mind. Use this to your advantage instead of seeing your new-grad status as a limitation. Take every opportunity during your interviews to show you understand concepts, are familiar with terminology, and have solutions to hypothetical situations.

2. Know That You Belong

Feign confidence even if you feel intimidated during your interview. Talk as if you know you’ll do great in the position and ask for things you want rather than just waiting to see what the employer thinks is fair. Remember that after all the hard work you’ve put in to make it this far, you do deserve a shot.

3. Find a Mentor

If you’re struggling with self-confidence, it can help to receive guidance from someone who was once in your position. A mentor can help you realize your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and figure out how to meet your goals.

4. Continue Actively Looking for Jobs

Even if you’re happy with the first job you find, it makes sense to keep looking for new opportunities. You may find that you’re being underpaid or overworked. There’s no need to necessarily change jobs, but receiving an offer at another company can be great leverage in a negotiation.

5. Set Healthy Boundaries

Establishing a work–life balance and upholding your values will garner you respect and remind you of your self-worth. For instance, you should avoid working overtime unless desired, taking every extra project your boss offers, and answering work emails from home. This will only lead to burnout — and your employer may start taking you for granted.

6. Avoid Jobs That Expect You to Prove Your Worth

Some companies target university students by offering them jobs they say will increase in pay after employees have proved their worth. Since you’ve already earned a degree, you deserve better than this. Avoid these employers in favour of those who will treat you fairly from the start.

Another way to recognize your own worth is to realize you deserve better than on-campus housing. Move out of your current McMaster residence and into West Village Suites. The apartments are fully furnished, rent includes all utilities and WiFi, and you’ll be within walking distance from campus. You’ll be much more comfortable than in dorms, as you’ll have your own room and access to some great amenities, including a yoga studio, fitness facilities, and study spaces. Book a tour to see how living here would improve your university experience.

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