Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How To: Job Hunt

Second semester of senior year went more quickly than I could have ever imagined.  I felt like I spent more time my fall semester freaked out about the fact that I was going to be in the 'real world' and landing a job.  Looking back, I now know that I should have been more worried about my thesis dissertation, but that's another post for another day.  

I'm in the thick of the job hunt.  Graduating unemployed was my worst fear and I survived.  Still breathing & still searching away!  I know a lot of recent grads in my shoes, so I thought I'd write a post to explain how I'm coping with this new gig, the job hunt gig.  Here are 4 tips to keeping yourself motivated, organized, and on top of you work! 

1. It's a Full Time job - The job hunt IS a full time job.  But actually.  It's something you have to work at every single day.  Whether its sending out emails, doing background research on companies, writing cover letters; it's a lot of work.  

2. Create a routine - It's challenging to create a new routine, especially if you've just moved back home with mom & dad.  At school, I was totally into how I spent my day.  I would typically be up, ready, and out the door at 8 AM and back in my room after dinner or lib time.  It's especially challenging when your parents live at the beach (thanks, Mom & Dad).  There's a beach, bikes, a gym, the pool; so many activities + no homework.  It was easy the first two weeks after graduation to just relax and enjoy, but now I know that I can't do that everyday.  I have tried to schedule a little gym time, pool time, and working hours for my day & it seems to be working!

3. Create a Google Doc/Email Folder - The hours this past year that was spent google searching, LinkedIn browsing, and straight up stalking my favorite organizations and companies for job openings...those are hours I will never get back but boy were they valuable.  Also the amount of jobs that my mom emails me is out of control.  Keep yourself organized by creating a Google Doc on your Google drive with multiple rows.  I organized my own sheet this way: Title, Company, Status, Date Applied, Response, Link, Location, Connection, & Info. 

What helped the most was formatting my Status column by color.  I chose 3 conditions: Research, Communication, & Complete that way I could keep track of where I was in my job search.  It's pretty easy to do!  Right clink on the column and go to Conditional Formatting.  

Once you see this page, type in your key words that will determine the status of that specific job, add a background color & whenever you type that word, it will automatically color code it for you.  Magic! 

I also created an email Folder called Jobs/Networking that I store all of my career related emails in to help me stay organized!

4. Commit - If you want to be in NYC, make it happen. Go there.  I'm not exactly currently located in the heart of the DC Metro area.  But if I want to be there, I'm going to have to commit, as in, travel there frequently.  Make sure that you have saved up enough gas/travel money to make trips to the city/location you want to work in.  Make sure you have friends/loved ones you can crash with, and don't forget the keyword of the last 4 years, #network.  Set up informational interviews with everyone and anyone, they might just give you a piece of insight or introduce you to someone who could make it happen for you.  Reach out to college professors, graduates, old intern supervisors, whoever is there and is willing to help and commit. 

5. Think forward - As you know I've been reading I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones and it is really reshaping what I want out of a first job.  I really want to align my first job with my life goals and my career goals; I don't want it to just be "a job."  It will take longer to find, lots of patience, and resilience but I know that it's out there!  
Here are a few other articles about career that are worth reading.  

Are you in the job hunt currently?  What tips/tricks do you have for keeping focused and staying sane? 

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