How I Survived the Senior Scaries
Senior year of college was the most stressful year of my life. Being in the business school made it even worse. The hiring cycle for my major, marketing, was completely different than all of the finance and accounting majors I was surrounded by; it felt like by winter break everyone had a job but me. I went into full-on panic mode.
Even though I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I kept questioning myself and looking at as many job descriptions as possible to try and get some guidance on what I was supposed to be doing after graduation. After deciding I wanted to have a full time job rather than work part-time and blog, I started making some big job search mistakes.
MISTAKES I MADE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO:
I applied to every job on LinkedIn jobs that had a description that could kind of fit my personality and credentials;
I focused on getting any job, not the quality of jobs I was applying for;
I interviewed multiple times for companies, even when I knew I didn’t like the company or the job, solely out of fear that I would end up unemployed after graduation;
I got burnt out.
I had all the tools I needed, but I wasn’t using them corectly and all I got was no job and overwhelemed (to the point of literal TEARS).
On my way home from a 3rd round job interview for a job I knew I didn’t want, I called my mom crying. She told me to decline the job and start over. The thought of starting from scratch made me want to cry even more, but I decided to sit down and write down what I really wanted.
A full time job with benefits
In a major city (Boston, NYC, LA preferably)
Doing brand development: graphic design, videography, social media management, etc.
A small/medium company or even a start-up where I could have a real impact
When I looked at the four things on my list I realized that this was not unreasonable, and could not be that hard to find. So I went back to LinkedIn, but instead of going to their ‘Job’ page, I started looking at my connections: where they lived; what they did for a living; what kinds of companies they worked at. So many of my connections proved to be real assets that I started getting way more active, liking commenting, and sharing posts and soon, I noticed a post was shared by one of my connections that said “Marketing Coordinator wanted, DM for details.”
That direct message was how I found myself working for an incredible medium sized firm outside of Boston that offers flexible hours, remote work and my work is making a real impact. Everything I was looking for was there, but not on a job postings site.
Once I took the time to sit down with myself and figure out what it is I wanted in a company and a job role, finding it became so much easier. I started organically looking through LinkedIn again, and was able to notice that small post when it popped up on my feed because I wasn’t overthinking anymore.
If you’re in the thick of the senior scaries my biggest peice of advice is stop being overwhlemed. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but take a deep breath and wriite down what you want. What do you want out of a job? What do you actually want to be doing after you graduate? Maybe jumping into a full time job in your field isn’t for you. Maybe you want to work at an espresso shop in Europe while you backpack for a year. Maybe you didn’t get into the grad school you wanted, and you’d really rather have a part-time job and study to re-apply than be working 40-50 hours a week. Maybe you have a passion project you want to finally turn into a career. Whatever it is, sit down with yourself and figure out what it is you want when you gradute.
Once you do that it will be so much easier to weed out opportunities that fit with your desires versus those that don’t, and you’ll start seeing more opportunities that align with your goals.