How to Remain Sane During the Search for Your First Job Post-College

When I began writing this blog, I focused on helping young professionals find jobs and then succeed in a corporate environment.  Then I learned that many of my readers are interested in starting a business, so I expanded it to include topics on entrepreneurship.  Recently, I’ve realized that many of my readers are students who are just beginning their careers.  So I’ve decided to include some content helpful to students.

I’ve also realized that I have a great untapped source of content – my students at the University of Denver.  I’ve asked some of them to provide their thoughts on preparing for a career while in college. Here is the first of a series of these posts, written by Claudia Glenn, a student and Teaching Assistant in my Business Communication class.

Leaving the safe bubble of college and entering the job market is intimidating enough and doing so during a pandemic makes the task even more daunting. As a senior marketing student at The University of Denver, I am looking toward my graduation in June with both excitement and fear for what is to come.

Here are a few tips that have kept me sane while weighing my career options and planning for post-grad life:

  • Put in the effort up front

You hear it time and time again in business school that perfecting your resume is vital to securing a job. I have found that making sure your resume is top-notch makes the application process much less stressful. If you feel like your skills and capabilities are captured on paper, there is less of a need to “prove yourself” in the interview process. So even if that means another hour perfecting margins and action-verbs, so be it.

In fields like marketing where portfolio work is as important as experience, making a website to showcase your work is also a great use of time before even looking at applications. Want an example? You can find my portfolio here.

  • Use the power of remote work

The way we work has been changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic as companies realize the perks of employees working from home. This also means that more job listings are remote positions, increasing both opportunity and competition. If you don’t know where you want to move after graduation, finding a position that will allow for that uncertainty is very possible.

  • Keep an open mind

If I have learned anything from watching my parents and the adults in my life switch jobs and career paths, it is that your major isn’t as important as it seems. It can be stressful to feel boxed-in to your specific field of study while job searching, so don’t be afraid to branch out and explore your interests. Casting a wide net just might land you a position that you are perfect for, even if it isn’t technically under your major.

  • Prioritize your mental health

First impressions are everything, and once you begin the interview process, you will want to be setting your best foot forward. In order to do so, you need to take care of yourself. It may feel like a race to get a job right away, but there will still be plenty of positions available if you need to take a week or two off from stressing. Clearing your mind will allow you to have your priorities and values straight when you are ready to dive back into the search.

The job search process is never easy, but it also presents an exciting opportunity to determine your future. If you choose to view it in this positive light and follow the tips above, I guarantee it will look less like a chore and more like a reward for the hard work you put in during school.


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