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Staying positive in the job search

The weather is changing, summer is approaching and students across campus are feeling the effects of a paralyzing condition. The job search. Symptoms of a student searching for a job include, but are not limited to: agonizing self-analysis, waves of panic, unceasing stress, nostalgically binge reading '90s Buzzfeed articles, and creating dramatically pessimistic projections of your future.

Now, let me preface this by saying I have no medical background. As far as I’m concerned, ice cream is the most advanced Western medicine there is. However, with four internships under my belt and an upcoming graduation date, I do have experience with the job search. I’ve ridden the roller coaster of emotions surrounding it, and what I can tell you is that staying positive is one of the most important steps in the process.

I’m not one for emotional appeals. I’m not going to lace this with inspirational quotes or empty promises. What I am going to do is explain to you why it’s important to not let the job search get you down. So, here we go:

This is what you’ve been working toward

The education, the degree. All those clubs you joined, all those nights you chugged a coffee and pushed through to study. It was for this. So get pumped! This is exciting! Your work is about to pay off and you’re about to reap the benefits of it. Remember that many of your short term goals were leading you to this, and if you accomplished those you can accomplish this too.

This isn’t your forever

Committing to a job or internship is exactly that – a commitment. But it’s not a lifelong obligation. If you take a job and you find it’s not the right match, then contribute what you can, learn what you can, and leave. Your career is a marathon, it is not a sprint. Right now it seems like this is your only foreseeable future, when in reality it is just a moment of time in your life, as was high school. Don’t forget to look at the big picture.

Rejection is okay

Here, the job search is like exactly dating. Sometimes, you get rejected. Sometimes, it’s by someone you quickly afterward realize isn’t right for you and sometimes it’s by someone you wanted to move forward with. Whatever the case, it is okay. And honestly, it is for the best. If you feel comfortable and confident with who you are and what you bring to the table then that rejection simply means that you aren’t what they are looking for and that that would’ve came to light eventually anyway. In which case, it’s better to find out now and have the opportunity to seek out and start with a company that will value you and let you shine.

This is an opportunity to figure out what you want

One of the biggest “problems” with the job search is that there are so many potential companies to research and apply to and it is overall a long process. In other words, it’s overwhelming. Really, what this means though is that you have the opportunity to figure out exactly what you want. I promise you that if you read enough job applications you will start to find trends in what is appealing to you. If you talk to enough recruiters, you will realize what company cultures you are drawn to. If you spend enough time on anything, you will learn from it. This is no exception.

So, keep your chin up! Remember that this is just another phase of life. (If you’re not sure where to start, come into the CCO between 10am-4pm Monday-Friday and talk with a Career Services Consultant!) Reflect on who you are and what you have to offer. Make sure that’s something you’re proud of, and then go in and WORK IT. You’re going to be okay. And you’re going to get there – wherever “there” may be. That’s for you to figure out.

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