By: Emily Ferraro
No one said it would be easy, right? All of the tailored resumes, cover letters, applications, and emails pile up and you quickly find yourself in a human resource nightmare if you’ve jumped in without preparing yourself for what to expect. But that doesn’t mean that you need to suffer silently feeling overwhelmed and/or wondering why you haven’t made any progress in your job search. This is a daunting process for anyone whether you are just starting your first employment journey or find yourself making a transition in your career. A lot of people express that applying for jobs is a full-time job but they leave it at that, without discussing positive ways to cope through good times and hard times when looking for employment.
Here are some “mind”ful tips in preparation for your impending job search:
- Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations
- Securing a job before graduation often means that you must do some soul searching. Employers want well rounded candidates who are able to make decisions, solve problems, and communicate their ideas. Try thinking about your job search as one big problem that needs solving, use your decision making skills to help you navigate and remember to clearly communicate your ideas along the way. The best way to start communicating clearly is by starting the conversation within yourself- be proactive and start to create goals and outline your job search. Stick to them without comparing yourself to your peers/colleagues. This is YOUR job search and you have unique qualities that can’t be compared to others. Goals can be as simple as setting a number of applications to complete within each week. Or choosing a day of the week to refresh and stay up-to-date on your follow-up communication. This will help reinforce your expectations for yourself and will help you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Find your outlet
- It’s easy to get distracted from doing what you enjoy when you are so worried about securing a job. It’s very important that you find something you love to do that helps you relieve stress. Remind yourself to take a break and go for a walk, or read a couple of chapters from your favorite book, maybe even watching your favorite movie at the end of the night or sneaking in a couple episodes of Game of Thrones. Whatever it is that you enjoy, this small treat should be your way of re-charging before you jump back into the process. Learning your personal coping method is very important so you do not start turning to bad habits when things get rough and ultimately risk putting off your goals.
- Turn to your mentor
- My most cherished advisor once said, “There is nothing lonelier than going through a job search alone” and he was right. Don’t ever let yourself feel like you are alone when there are so many people around you who can serve as a mentor. Focus on your network and find one or two mentors that you can turn to when you find the search is getting to you or when you need help solving problems and making decisions. A good mentor should be able to challenge and support you while giving feedback and advice that encourage you to move forward even when times are hard. Look to your existing network on-campus, in your community, and in friends who have already secured jobs. Your Career Services Program Managers are another great mentor network!
- Keep your head up
- It’s not always easy to stay positive when you feel like you’ve hit a wall in the job search. Especially when you haven’t heard back from companies or start feeling the pain of rejection. Remember to keep in touch with family and friends and tell people what you are going through, otherwise no one will know what you are going through. Lastly, keep these tips in mind and think of ways to recharge yourself when you aren’t feeling motivated. It’s normal to feel set-back but you have to get back up and try again.
Emily Ferraro serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students on topics such as personal branding and social media and tailoring job search documents.