May 16, 2023

LeadershipProfessional Development

Remaining Positive on the Job Hunt

By: Peyton Holliday

If you are anything like me and are in the process of landing the dream job, you might be discouraged if the job hunt has gone on and on with no success. For nearly a year now, I have been applying, researching, and taking internships hoping for the next big break into the job world. It has been a long exhausting year and if you had told me a year ago that in May of 2023 I would still be job hunting I would have laughed at you. 

The entire process, I knew, would take time, but I never guessed it would be over a year without a full time paid position. Throughout the hunt and the applications and the interviews, I have been up and down with excitement, discouragement, and at the brink of giving up many times. Since my first major interview in May of 2022 where I was moved to the second interview and then after following up twice to find out they went with another candidate, I have learned a ton. I wanted to share some of the things I have learned and if you are hunting for that dream job too, maybe this will encourage you. 

Of all the things that people have said and people have told me, time and time again I’ve been told not to give up. I have asked myself over and over if I should give up on what I want and pursue something different. I have applied for jobs that did not fit what I wanted and realized in the interview that I should have stayed the course of what I was looking for. Each time I have strayed from my course, I realized that what I wanted is not what I applied for just to land a job. 

Another thing that I have been told is that I am doing the right things. Sometimes things can seem like going through the motions of calling someone and reaching out to someone and seeking recommendations, but through that being told you’re doing the right thing is encouraging. It can be so helpful to realize that all the effort you put into an interview and all the work you put into sending your resume over for a job is right and maybe the issue was not you, but the company you wanted to work for. 

Seeking feedback can be encouraging when applying and interviewing for jobs. I find that when I ask people what tips they have or what things I could do better with, I am encouraged by how honest and helpful their feedback is. I asked someone I interviewed with for feedback after I did not land the job and it was helpful to hear that I had done a solid job in the interview, impressed the interviewer and had only not landed the job because my experience was subpar. Remember that sometimes it does take more experience than you realize for jobs that you apply for. 

Being willing to say yes to opportunities is helpful in the job hunt. Maybe you are not keen on a job that is suggested to you, but being willing and eager to say yes is important. People are more willing to help you on the job hunt when you say yes to their suggestions. Constantly turning ideas down leads people to back off from helping you because they assume they are not being helpful. I have found that oftentimes when I say yes to something I am not excited about it ends up not working out, but I made the person who suggested it excited to help me find a job. And who knows maybe their next suggestion could be the one. 

Reworking your strategy can be an encouraging way to keep landing interviews. Instead of relying on one or two people, reach out to others and see what might be out there. Try to work with recruiters and do research on your own. It can be helpful to have multiple platforms and strategies in place instead of focusing only on one. When you are using various job boards you see more opportunities than others who zero in on one. Be willing to do something different and not pigeonhole yourself. I learned quickly in my job hunt that the types of jobs I want to apply for can go across various types of employment. Instead of focusing only on the political world, I could branch out to the nonprofit world, the film world, and even worlds I did not realize needed the work I wanted to do. 

Lastly, be encouraged and stay positive that even if you fail to land the job you want, you will be able to look back once you land a job and be thankful for the people you met along the way. Truely, you never know when someone might just call you up and remember what you were looking for and offer you the job. Keep pressing on and I hope you are able to find your dream job and remain positive throughout the process.