Surviving the "Job Search Blues"
We all know how challenging it can be to find a job out of college, let alone the "perfect" job. It is not always easy to navigate the job market or even know how to begin looking for work. It is also normal to feel lost while trying to get your feet solidly on the ground. Here are some tips to help stay mentally focused, determined, and feeling empowered through the job search process.
1. Make a list of possible careers that interest you and begin collecting research. This could include creating a folder full of articles, videos, blog posts, and interviews with experts in the fields of study that you want to pursue. Ask to interview mentors who have experience in the industry you want to enter. 2. Make sure you have an up to date resume and ready to go at all times. Do not be afraid to get feedback from people in your life who have good resume building skills. 3. Nowadays, entry level jobs are asking for 2 to 3 years of experience in a field, in addition to a specific degree. Job listings don't tell you is that this can be negotiated. If you can prove your value in a job and your personal drive, and you are willing to take an entry level position, you have a good chance at getting the job.
4. When you leave college, everyone you know now is good at something. Think about that. Utilize the power of networking and find ways to reconnect with those around you. This could be as simple as having a meal with an old friend or creating a solid LinkedIn profile as a good networking resource. 6. Remember that each of us have different environments and social settings that suit us best in the workplace. It’s useful to write down a list of definite things you need in a work space (i.e. to be on a team with other people or to work independently). 7. It is a great idea to find jobs that can help you supplement your income. This could be babysitting, dog walking, waitressing, or mentoring with someone in a field that interests you. You can be proud of yourself for making extra money as you find more long term positions. 8. All the experience you have collected can help you, even if you are not sure how. Though there is a demand for specialized skills when you get out of college, do not underestimate the value of basic life competency. Have an understanding of personal finance, organizational skills, and social skills. Know how to dress for an interview and take an interest in health and wellbeing. It is all very valuable because even while you may look good on a resume, you will definitely be judged on how you speak and how you appear when you go in for an interview. 9. One's proficiency in Microsoft Office cannot be overvalued. The uses of templates can help you see how important documents should look, whether it’s a resume or an invoice. 10. Consider the emotional demands of your job and what that will do to your psyche. Think about how it can uplift or hurt your self-esteem, and if it can promote rapid personal growth, confidence, and professional skills. If your work environment feels toxic, ask yourself if it’s worth the money.
In the words of Baltimore native Ira Glass, the creator of “This American Life” on NPR, "When you graduate, you are as well armed for battle as anyone else is. You have to invent what you want to be. When you create, it starts with an idea. Ideas come from different ideas. Surround yourself with everything that excites you. We go forward in our lives and make the best guesses we can in the choices we make. You will grow and build muscle and when you get the chance to remake the world, do it. And change everything for yourself and the world too." Be gentle with yourself and remember that it is okay to ask for help. With perseverance and patience, you will find many opportunities that await you.