While the job search may be long and tedious at some points, it can also be super exciting. I have learned so much through doing the job search so far and will continue to in the coming weeks/months and years, whether a few or decades later. The job search takes on in our lives in so many ways, but I have found ways to make it much easier and less intimidating than it may appear to some. Today, I will be sharing what I have learned so far from the job search and the skillset that I have acquired along the way.

Use your resources

When I started the job search, it was extremely daunting and I got overwhelmed pretty fast. So, I went to the resources that I knew I had to help me. Those resources for me was my college’s Career Center that students and alumni have free for life. I scheduled appointments at the Career Center to help me start my search and met/do meet with a Career counselor via the Career Center regularly. At the same time, I have also gained a few mentors in and out of my desired area of interest to help me formulate the best resume and cover letter that I can, alongside *of course* the Career Center. My parents have also helped guide me with my job search, too, which has been really nice. Remember that none of us can succeed all on our own – it takes a tribe, including with the job search.

Above all else, DO NOT be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Asking for help will help you get to exactly where you need to be at the right place and time.

Network! Network! Network!!!!

Just because we are in a pandemic does not mean that we cannot network; virtual networking is super powerful and helpful! Networking is extremely powerful in the job search. I have learned how powerful networking can be, whether or not you are in the process of searching for a job. Pretty much every company/organization has a feature where you can see who went/works there and where they live, what they do, where they went to school (if applicable), etc. As a college student, I can see where Meredith College students and alumni currently work and use it for my college, too (check out this guide on using this super cool feature, here). I use this tool ALL the time, and especially to network.

When networking with a connection of interest that I have found, I typically leave a note when I request to connect with that person on LinkedIn and ask if I can chat with them virtually for 30 minutes to learn more about their career journey/experiences. Through these calls, I have learned what I am interested in and what I am not interested in doing and have a gauge for what I may want to do starting out. At the same time, the connections that I have made will help me when searching for a job, whether it be finding a company of interest or even a position of interest. You never know who you may meet/network with!

Research Companies/Organizations of Interest!

Do your research! To help me better with the job search, I have researched companies/organizations that have interested me. The Career Center has helped me to find some of these companies and discover companies/organizations that may have areas of greater interest to me than others. My area of interest career-wise can allow me to go into any industry, so researching companies/organizations and their values, company culture, work environment, work-life balance, and what they do has helped me to make my best decisions on where to apply and what roles to apply to.

Use Your Connections

As I have previously emphasized, it does take a tribe for each of us to succeed – it is NOT just all on our own. Utilize your connections that you have made to help you find a job, whether it be having them glance over your resume/cover letter, refer/recommend you for a position, or help you with interview skills. There are so many people in this world that want to help those around them succeed. Remember to take others’ feedback as a sign of love, as they want to see you succeed like they have. Life is a learning experience and curve and there is a lot to be learned from the job search journey.

At the same time, be sure to thank your connections for the help that they have done for you and show them some gratitude, especially when you land a job! Ways to thank them include treating them to coffee/lunch, sending them a card and/or flowers, a gift card, or a mixture of a few of these!

Maintain Your Connections

I have been told by a wise connection of mine that it is important to maintain your connections that you have made. It may be helpful to make a goal of maintaining 2-4 of your connections each week, whether it be through dropping them a message on LinkedIn or liking/commenting on one of their LinkedIn posts (if you post on there). You never know what someone may be able to do for you and how they can help you land a job now or even years down the line.

Although the job search is a very long and tedious process, the skills that I have learned so far from it have made me feel a lot better about it all. While it is hard and a very uncertain-filled search, the right job will come to you at the right timing when it is meant to be!

XOXO – Katie <3

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