Looking for a job isn’t a bundle of fun. It takes hard work, patience and hundreds of CVs sent to apathetic employers – and that’s before you even receive a reply.
Indeed, without a sense of perspective, you’ll most likely feel like giving up before you’ve even started.
The media doesn’t help matters. Tales of unemployment highs, austerity woes and major businesses migrating to far-off shores is enough to make any jobseeker shrug their shoulders and stick on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
While the unemployment rate is falling in the UK, the standard of living remains low. Zero hour contracts still plague businesses and working tax credits are standing on a precipice of swingeing cuts.
The Fear can be difficult to surmount once you hit it, and it can leave your employment prospects in tatters.
Some on the lookout for long-term employment have to make industrious choices before they can even make it to the interview stage. Many even have to seek out a whole new form of education.
Going the distance
Distance learning has proven invaluable for some in this respect, giving people skills that can push them over and above those pernicious zero hour contracts.
And you can gain all kinds of qualifications. You could be looking for a social policy degree, an MA in leadership, a BA in management and find them all in the same university.
In many respects, distance learning could provide an austerity solution to the rising cost of tuition fees.
Universities can, at time of writing, charge up to £9,000 for tuition fees. And with the Tory government threatening to raise the cap, students could be paying much more.
Costs are far lower with an online degree – but with the same level of high-quality education.
In place of tutorials and trips to campus is all the information you need at your fingertips. Skype and email can give you almost the same level of contact with a tutor. Plus, online degrees can even cross borders and oceans. Online programs give students the opportunity to receive a degree from another country like the US for example, where it would otherwise be too costly to move. Every shortcoming that used to be inherent in the distance learning experience has a workaround that, if anything, has made the process more convenient.
Moreover, the experience allows you to fit your home and working life around your studies, so you can continue applying for full-time work while you cram.
The volunteer route
It’s not the only avenue to journey when you’re looking to bolster your CV.
Almost all cities and towns can promise a plethora of volunteering opportunities to keep you on the ball during your job hunt.
Voluntary positions come in all shapes and sizes – and they’re not limited to stacking shelves in a fusty old charity shop.
The take home lesson is this; corner your market. When times are tough and the mire of austerity is deep, focusing your energy can only strengthen your resolve.