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Encouragement for Staying Persistent

 

Keep up the practice of searching.

Looking for jobs gets boring, stressful, discouraging, and time consuming. Endless searches on Indeed or tired nights wandering through tangled paths of links to interesting organizations do not feel like pursuing my passion.

But just as writing over-thought short essays for admission officers I had never met was not representative of my college experience once I got there, the job search isn’t the job. The job search is part of the process. Keep up the hope and hard work. 

Mentors can make a big difference in the experience and the outcome.

And most likely, the best mentors aren’t your parents. Take in your parents’ advice for what it is, but make sure to reach out to find people who are working in your field and are willing to spend time talking with you. Even people in different fields can shed tremendous light through sharing their search experiences.

Meet people of different ages. Meet people who have made pivots in their careers. You may have one conversation or many, but each point of contact is an opportunity to learn more about the area you are interested in and, in turn, make you a better candidate.

Down the road, you may become a mentor to someone so, when you are settled in your new job, say YES when someone asks you to take time out of your busy schedule to talk.

Keep the focus, and keep track of your research.

Awesome. You’ve found 15 prospects that sound great. You could send all 15 the same general cover letter and hope for the best. Someone may take the bait. But they likely will not. Writing a targeted, specific, well-edited cover letter goes a long way.

So you’ve picked your top choice and worked hard to write the best-ever cover letter. Don’t settle for less than your best.  That fifth edit’s the charm.

As hard as it is, don’t stop there. Turn back to the other 14 prospects and focus on specifics of their job descriptions to further narrow your search. Even if you don’t pursue all 14, keep track of what you like about each one, what you feel you could do well in each role, and what experience you were missing to be able to reach one of those jobs.

Honor your progress.

You have put it a lot of work. Your next job is the end goal but success doesn’t wait until then. Set progress markers to acknowledge what your have learned and achieved along the way. Each application has been a step in crystallizing your message and that is worth celebrating.