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How to Stay Sane During Your Job Search

I like to describe myself as a stressed senior. The Swamp has been good to me, and I’ve had so many great opportunities and met some great people, but I’m ready to go. It hit me at the beginning of this semester that it is going to be my last, and while that sentiment is exciting, it furthers my stress just a little because that means I need a job — like, a real job.

I promised myself a couple of things when I started college: I’d study something I love (checking that off my list as we speak), but I also promised I would never be a boomerang kid — “a young adult who goes back to live with a parent after a period of independence.” So here I am, applying for jobs left and right. Searching for a job post-graduation is frightening. It’s putting all the skills you’ve gained the past four years and applying them to the real world. It has only been a few months of me sending in countless resumes and cover letters, but here are some tips I’ve learned thus far:

Don’t send too many applications in one day.

I had this habit of making sure I sent at least four applications a day. Three words: don’t do it. Sure, you get into a groove by altering a few words in the cover letter to fit the organization, but soon your work becomes stale, and you want your voice and personality to shine through your application.

Do be open-minded.

Being a magazine editorial assistant is my ultimate dream following my graduation, but I have to remember there are other jobs out there that also fit my qualifications. Applying to positions that you’re only kind of interested in is normal. Don’t limit yourself just because the title doesn’t fit what you think you want. I’ve found great positions that I had never even considered before my search process.

Don’t think about the competition.

I doubt myself, like, a lot. I constantly pit my work against my classmates’, something that will forever be a work in progress, and the same goes for my job search. Even though I have no idea who else is applying for the same job, it’s easy to compare and think that you might not be good enough.

Do respect the process.

It’s a long and winding road. From hitting that send button and refreshing your email every 30 seconds to oftentimes being rejected, it can be a daunting process — but with each step, you learn something. Whether it’s crafting a better cover letter or (finally) figuring out that some companies may never get back to you, it’s all going to be work out for a reason, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.

Searching for a job is hard, but keep trying so you can find yourself in a career you love — and so you don’t have to be a boomerang kid.

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