The Waiting Game: What You Should Be Doing Between Now and Getting A Job

Research, research, and more research...

While you’re waiting in limbo, one of the best uses of your time is to get a jump-start on researching everything from industries, to companies, to people. “Students can use their time to research companies and occupational titles. Most employers hire on an as-needed basis, so use the time wisely to figure out where you want to work when the opportunities arise,” says Lane.

Rick Gillis, a job search expert, advises looking into companies to determine which firms you want to pursue. “You might really think you want to work for ABC Company but when you start doing simple research, you learn stuff about them you don’t care for or don’t want to be associated with, i.e., their lack of environmental concerns.” By using your time to list out companies that you’re interested in, it’ll be a lot easier to monitor their job postings as time goes on.

Get Organized

So you’ve started reconnecting, networking and speaking with industry-insiders—that’s great! As you have all of these new conversations, it’s important to keep track of all of the people you meet so that you can keep up correspondence throughout your job search. A great resource for staying organized is Excel or a Google Doc spreadsheet if you’re an avid Gmail user.

Set up a worksheet with the contact information of people you’ve spoken with, people who you’d like to reach out to and companies that you’re interested in. Having a document like this will be a huge help in organizing your job search and contacts!

The Waiting Game

Waiting to figure out where you’ll be after graduation isn’t fun. While your friends in finance are lining up positions six-months ahead of time, you may not get an offer until finals week—or even later. The trick is to not let those prodding questions from friends and family discourage you. That great job is out there and by using your time in “limbo” to prepare yourself, your chances of landing it will go through the roof. Network, interview and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. As Berger reminds us, “you are a student and people will sit down with you and speak with you.”  So take advantage of this while you still can!

Good luck and happy job-hunting!  

Lauren Berger, CEO of
Rick Gillis, job search expert
Laura Lane, UNC Assistant Director of Career Services
Northeastern University Career Services