This post-grad writer has no script for what comes next

A story of identity, loss, finding purpose ... and a job

A girl poses on a staircase.
Krishika Jethani poses to get her photo taken at a staircase in Toronto on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Paola Garcés/Toronto Observer) 

After years of dedication to her higher education, she finally did it. She earned her bachelor’s degree.

She had left behind her family and home country to attend Concordia University in Montreal, but didn’t feel the program or the city were right for her. To continue her undergrad studies, she moved to Toronto.

It was a better fit for her, both the city and the program. She was happy.

The extracurricular activities she pursued, such as writing for her university newspaper, volunteering, and freelancing, were the most challenging part as she prepared for her career.

For Krishika Jethani, graduating is a win in her story—a story she’s writing as she goes.

But so far, that win has come with some losses.

Life does not come with a manual or a set of instructions. Society sets broad guidelines that, if followed fully, can grant success. Preparing in an academic setting is one of them — as a collective, we have unspokenly agreed that hard work pays off.

Apparently, not anymore.

Jethani followed the education instructions carefully, but she has not heard word of a job offer yet.

“As a student, you had a routine, basically, but as you’re navigating change and moving into adult life and applying to jobs, everything might not be as stable or as steady as it used to be,” Jethani said.

Krishika Jethani walks in Downtown Toronto on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Paola Garcés/Toronto Observer)

Jethani is a 23-year-old passionate writer born and raised in Panama who dreamt of moving to an English-speaking country. “I always resonated more with the English language,” she said. 

This sentiment is heavily influenced by her Indian background and the fact that she has travelled to the U.S. to visit her family since a very young age.

 However, moving to Toronto never crossed her mind until she visited some family members and thought, “I really like Toronto, too.” 

This pivotal moment led her to study in Canada where she completed her studies in Creative Industries at Toronto Metropolitan University. The interdisciplinary program prepares students for management, leadership and entrepreneurship roles in communication, design, media, entertainment, arts and culture, according to the TMU website.

“My two creative modules were the fashion industry and the business and practice of news,” said Jethani. “I took, I think it was six news classes, six fashion classes, then we had our business courses, and then we had our core Creative Industries courses.”

After finishing her studies in April, Jethani has not been doing anything else but applying to job postings. Approximately 80 in total, and “It has been tough,” she said. “I feel like some companies just ghost you.”

This may seem like a long time to wait for Jethani, but according to, it takes three to six months on average to get a job.

Where ghosting is usually associated with the dating scene, 45 per cent of job seekers have been ghosted by a recruiter, according to a report from the hiring platform Greenhouse.

The “ghosting” practice by recruiters and possible employers leaves Jethani wondering what happened or what’s going to happen next. “I don’t really know if my application was viewed or if I’m passing to the next level or anything,” she said.

“Companies that are doing that should be very cognizant of the downstream impact of doing that,” said Strategic Human Resources professional, Farzeen Foda. “Not only are they losing the potential for an employee at one point, but potentially also customers.”

Foda is the founder of, a human resources consulting firm focused on building inclusive systems and processes through diversity, equity and inclusion and building that into systems and the ways of working for organizations.

According to Foda, “ghosting” is terrible for the organization and the applicant, as it can negatively impact their self-esteem. Most people tend to take this as a rejection and link it to their qualifications, eroding their confidence.

“The job process has actually been pretty hard and hasn’t been good on my self esteem,” said Jethani. “The stress and anxiety has been build up for me of not feeling my resumé or my experience is good enough.”

“It’s always particularly challenging for any groups that are entering into an uncertain economic climate,” said Foda.

Besides “ghosting,” recent college graduates face another hurdle, as 38 per cent of employers avoid hiring recent college graduates, according to a recent report by Intelligent.

Fifty-eight per cent of managers, directors, and executives in the United States believe this group is unprepared for the workforce.

Post-graduates share this sentiment. In a blog post on the American Psychiatric Association’s website, eight in 10 graduating seniors (79 per cent) say the COVID-19 affected their workforce preparedness, with their mental health being the main reason for feeling less prepared (68 per cent).

Jethani feels her studies prepared her for the workforce, but still wonders if majoring in journalism would have been a better option for her to apply to more specific roles in journalism.

Watch | Krishika Jethani talks about life post-graduation

“[At] TMU, I took an international job hunting course in which I received an award for completion, which has been very helpful,” she said.

While 93 per cent of students are hopeful about their future, according to the APA post, 71 per cent are “somewhat or very stressed about entering the workforce.”

Most students (92 per cent) said employers should offer mental and emotional health benefits and 82 per cent plan to use resources to support their mental health after graduating.

Rafiqah Rizwan, a member staff of and mental health expert in emotion regulation, identity, setting boundaries and cross-cultural challenges, said the post-grad experience can be harrowing for new grads.

“The minute you graduate, you’re kind of thrown out there, to navigate the different social cues,” she said.

In Rizwan’s opinion, universities should take more accountability and be more transparent offering data about the real outcome of post-grads’ possible placement in the workforce.

Jethani started therapy approximately one year ago, “mostly because of my anxiety and wanting to work on that, as it is a big factor in my life.” This has been a positive experience as it has helped her to grow and “see things from a different perspective.”

This process has made Jethani realize “to not get attached,” as things in life are constantly evolving and have more of a be-like-water mentality — to be adaptable but resilient.

“It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling because it’s like, ‘OK, I’m done with school, yay!’ But now it’s like, ‘OK, I need a job’, which has been hard,” said Jethani.

Rizwan said it’s important for new grads to be mindful of how they handle their stress and anxiety.

“What kind of stress are you experiencing and what are you doing when it comes to, not solving it, but helping decrease it?” she said.

For Jethani, now her days look different. As a post-grad, she doesn’t have to attend lectures or prepare papers for school assignments. She’s focused on achieving her lifetime goal of being a high-ranking news reporter.

This is her deadline, and she’s trying to meet it, one job submission at a time.

The rest is still unwritten.

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Posted: Jun 20 2024 10:40 pm
Filed under: Features News Profiles