My first solid month on the job search is drawing to a close. I’ve had a few opportunities come my way, but nothing truly relevant to the career path I’d like to set out on, so I’ve kept looking. I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need to settle for the first thing that comes my way in order to put food in my mouth and a roof over my head, and you can bet I thank my lucky stars that’s the case every day.
Most of my peers who chose not to immediately seek an advanced degree after college are in similar situations. We’re working part-time jobs to have some income and something to do, but mostly we’re all trying to find work in our respective fields. We’re sharing notes on the job search, looking out for opportunities one another and celebrating each of our individual successes. It’s certainly nice to have a support group.
I putzed around looking for legal assistant work for a while; I’ve since decided that I can make a career out of my writing and social media know-how, so that’s where my focus now lies. I’ve got Google Reader set up with relevant RSS feeds, I’ve redone my resume and I’ve found a great way to centralize my digital portfolio. Throughout my life, I’ve seen enough challenges through to completion that I know if I focus on a task, I can achieve nearly whatever reasonable goal I’ve got in mind. Thus, I’m confident I will find something that meets my expectations and will help launch my Communications career.
Out of my job hunt experience, I’ve complied a short list of tips for keeping psychologically healthy during what can often be a draining process:
- Some people advise to treat the job search as if it were a full-time job, I disagree. 8 hours of fine-tuning resumes, writing cover letters and doing Indeed.com searches will drain you. I stick to 4 hours a day and use my other time on various projects.
- Network. Let everyone – friends, family, etc. know that you’re looking for a job. Never ask for work directly, but this way, the people you love will have their antennae activated for you.
- Stay healthy in body. Eat well, get a decent amount of sleep, and since you’ve probably got some free time, hit the gym.
- Read prolifically. Now’s a great time to get caught up on some books.
- Keep up with an old hobby or pick up a new one. This can be a great time to add a supplemental skill to your resume, like a second language or HTML experience.
- Get outside every day and interact with others. Fresh air and conversation do wonders for the spirit.
I hope someone out there finds this list helpful. The job search can be draining, demoralizing and boring, so it’s vastly important to keep at it. Remember, these are tough times, and if you’re struggling to find a job, don’t take it too personally. Now, that’s not an excuse to get lazy. It’s a reason to work even harder at finding a gig.