Your self-directed employment assistant
In my last post I talked about my college experience leading up to graduation. Since then, I have encountered many new experiences and challenges related to job search and obtaining that first full-time professional position. After reflecting back on my job search journey, here are seven of my top tips to survive the post grad job search!
1. Pinpoint what you want (and DON’T want)
Make sure you take the time to reflect on positions that you will actually want and enjoy doing. Don’t bother applying for the ones you don’t really care for, it will only take away from the time and energy you should be putting into the jobs that you really want!
2. Set and maintain goals
Set goals that are realistic for you and your schedule. Whether that’s 5 applications a day or 5 applications a week, set a goal and stick with it. Make sure to be leaving enough time for yourself, and set reminders in your phone or planner.
3. Stay organized (even if it seems like overkill!)
Create an Excel spreadsheet to track positions you’ve applied for, contact person and number, date applied, whether or not a cover letter was created, etc. This way you will be able to reference it when it’s time to follow up on some of your outstanding applications. Another thing that helped me was creating various folders to organize all of my application materials for each position, that way I could easily access it when needed. And don’t forget to be consistently checking your email!
4. Utilize resources and connections
Create a LinkdIn profile and put it to use. When applying for a job or looking into a specific company, check out their LinkdIn page to get a better idea of what it’s like and who some of the people are that work there. I also utilized my past professors by reaching out to them and having a conversation about what I’m looking for and if they have any suggestions or referrals.
5. Self-care is key!
This can be a long and frustrating process at times so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Take breaks and continue to do things that feed your passions and excite you. I used mediation during this process to keep me grounded and to reflect on some of my goals and progress.
6. Take time to reflect
Take time to think about your passions and envision your future self! Evaluate your talents and past work habits by asking yourself questions such as: what did you like or dislike about your last job?, what do you not want to do?, what do you want to learn?, where would you like to be in 5 years?, etc…
7. Change the way you think about interviews
Instead of only thinking of interviews as your be all end all of getting a job, use them as a learning experience. I know that, for me, job interviews can be very daunting and anxiety provoking. When I was able to change my perspective to view the interview as more of an opportunity for me to ask questions and learn about the position or company, I was less likely to go in feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
I hope these tips were helpful, thanks for reading!