5 Things I Learned From My Job Search

1.      Ask for help during research.

The initial phase of your job search is researching in the broadest sense. You can find plenty of information from blind Internet searches, but actual people with actual experience are going to be your greatest source of knowledge. You’ve already built a pretty impressive network as an undergraduate college student by simply taking classes, being a part of on-campus groups, and forming social bonds. Don’t be afraid to tap into that network! Be sure to utilize not only your immediate connections but second-degree connections can be helpful as well. Don’t hesitate to talk to friends who have already done the leg work with similar searches. Get in contact with someone who has a job you may be seeking and ask about their career. If they can’t put you in direct contact with a hiring manager, you’re still growing your wealth of knowledge about the field to be able to speak to in the future. The people you find in a position you desire have probably gotten there with the help of a network, and they often will oblige to pay it forward. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”- Isaac Newton

2.      No opportunity is fruitless.

My initial job search strategy was “far and wide” so say the least, given the variety of utilization of my degree. That said, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted, so I interviewed with eleven companies before accepting my current position. I did get frustrated interviewing with companies that I wasn’t fully invested in, in industries outside of my own. However, through this process, I gained a tremendous amount of invaluable interviewing experience. I am able to speak pointedly to elements of my resume as related to the position and have formulated questions to for recruiters. Professionalism and eloquence are learned skills that take practice!

3.      Ease off the pressure.

I started applying to the corporate abyss in September of my senior year. I yearned to secure a career and felt some pressure from my peers who were already squared away with a job or graduate school.  I’ve found that is pressure was unnecessary and only caused more stress. It’s essential to know that every industry and recruiting timeline is different, and it doesn’t reflect your success. If you put in time and effort to research and figure out what you want, you will find the right opportunity. Try not to get disillusioned by job offers from companies desperate to get hard-working recent grads in the door. Know what you’re worth, be patient, and be strategic in your pursuit of opportunities.

4.      Reach out!

It requires substantial efforts to network and connect with colleagues, but companies love to see you engage with their network. They want candidates who are highly interested in the position and are tapping into their professional community. Reaching out to current employees is a way to gain valuable insight and make yourself more visible to their recruiters in a genuine way. LinkedIn is a great place to start the conversation, but face-to-face or over the phone engagement will always be the most impactful.

5.      There is no right or wrong answer.

If you’re facing a fork in the road, as long as you keep yourself adaptable, you will be okay. When making a decision, it's important to zoom out and think about next steps, but don’t get too hung up on the future. It’s hard to find peace with such a significant life decision in such a short time frame, but you will arrive at an answer. Be patient, be diligent, and know that you’re evolving every day.