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6 Ways to Apply Divergent to Your Job Search

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We all know what happens tomorrow, right?

Divergent is out in theaters!!!!

Too many exclamation points? Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Want to know why I can barely contain my excitement for this movie?

1. Theo James—actually, do I need any other reason besides this one?

2. I read the books and I mean, COME ON, this movie is going to be EPIC!

3. I met Shailene Woodley on the beach a couple years ago and she is a totally cool, down to earth twentysomething that we should definitely be supporting.

4. Ansel Elgort paints rocks in his free time.

Okay, so those are my reasons, but why should YOU be interested in seeing this flick? Apart from the fact that the book was written by Veronica Roth while she was still in college (impressive, no?) it can also help you get a job.

What do I mean?

Let’s take a look.

So, if you don’t know the premise of Divergent (and the rest of the series), it’s about a dystopian society that places people into five different categories or factions: Abnegation (those who are selfless), Amity (those who are peaceful), Candor (those who are honest), Dauntless (those who are brave), and Erudite (those who are scholars).

Children are raised in their parents’ factions until they are 16 years old. When they are 16, they take a test that tells them what faction they belong in. At a ceremony soon afterward, they are asked to choose one faction to stay in for the rest of their lives.

When the main character, Tris, takes the test, her results come out as “Divergent,” meaning she has characteristics of several factions and does not belong in any specific one. She is told how dangerous this is and that she must hide it.

So what does this have to do with getting a job? It’s not like we live in a world that makes you choose just one personality trait.

Well, maybe we do.

When you go to college, you’re asked to pick a major. Then, you have to take classes that focus on that one subject. When you graduate, you think to yourself “Hmmm, what job am I supposed to have based on my major?”

You’re a philosophy major? You can either go to law school or become a professor. You’re a computer science major? You’re going to be a front-end or back-end developer. You’re an art major? You’re going to be a graphic designer.

That sounds like categorizing to me.

Why is this bad?

You may have chosen to study that one subject, but that doesn’t mean you have no other skills or interests. It also doesn’t mean that the jobs you apply for will require you to only be good at that one thing. Employers want well-rounded individuals who not only have the basic skills required of that job, but who can also think critically, learn quickly, and who fit in with the office atmosphere.

The trick to getting hired is to make yourself desirable to the employer. The more you have to offer, the better. Be Divergent.

How should you go about doing this?

1. Explore on AfterCollege. We understand that it can be intimidating for college students to figure out what they want to do after they graduate. That’s why we created Explore—instead of searching one specific option, you’re introduced to a stream of job titles and locations that are relevant to your education. Then, based on your preferences, we start customizing job listings that match you, not just your major. You can get a better understanding of what skills you want to gain by exploring all of your options.

2. Apply for a program outside your comfort zone. Picking up a skill that doesn’t fall under your “strengths” can be very beneficial for your job search. For example, your interests may lie in the humanities, but there’s no denying our generation’s need for technology. Following in Bryanna Smykowski’s footsteps and participating in a tech-oriented program can open up a world of possibilities within as well as outside of your major’s industry.

3. Work on a side hustle. Even if it’s a project within your own faction (major), you’ll be surprised by the skills you can pick up when you start and follow through with an independent project. Just look at the skills this side hustle gave these STEM majors.

4. Volunteer. By volunteering you’ll learn new skills, make connections, and help out with a cause that matters to you.

5. Conduct informational interviews. You never know when something will pique your interest. You might end up applying for a job that is in a completely different field from your major.

6. Minor in the field you want to work in. Think of majoring in something that will complement your career choice rather than define it. See what Valerie recommends for students looking to go into PR.

Tris being Divergent was a threat to those who wanted to keep the power to themselves because it meant she had the capability of being more powerful than they were. Having more than one skill set allows you to have power and flexibility in your job search. Rather than be categorized into one profession, you can adapt to different businesses and settings because you’re able to transfer your skills. It can also help you pain-spot and convince an employer that they need to hire you.

Homework time! After you’ve explored on AfterCollege, start researching different job titles and categories that stood out to you. What other skills would benefit you in these positions? For example, here are 5 different career possibilities for English majors. One of the jobs mentioned is Curriculum Developer. If this is one of positions on Explore that interested you, you might look into learning more about the different topics you might be interested in developing curriculum for. Maybe you’d start a blog about those subjects or you could even choose to major in those fields and minor in English. Try out the strategies listed above or come up with new ways to gain a larger variety of skills and become Divergent in your job search.

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