Job search anxiety is very real for many people, especially when you have just graduated college and you feel the need to go out into the real world and prove yourself. A small amount of anxiety is natural, but for many graduates they find the anxiety paralyzing which only makes the search for a job even more difficult. If you put a plan into place you can quiet the anxiety a bit and make the search for a job exciting in addition to all the other emotions you may feel.
When you understand your anxiety you might find that it doesn’t have as much power over you. Job search anxiety is very common, we all get it, regardless of how long or short a time it has been since we graduated college. The reason for your anxiety may be unique, but generally it’s associated with a lack of experience in the career field combined with the need to prove that your education will be put to good use. Also, many students don’t have a lot of interaction with professionals during their education, so now that they’ve finally gotten their diploma they aren’t sure what to do. College students work for so long to attain a goal that they are often as a loss as to what the next step is when they finally reach the goal to graduate with big dreams and great grades.
When you are able to determine why you are dealing with anxiety you can usually talk yourself out of it. If you are afraid you’ll fail and not prove what an outstanding education you have, you can simply quiet the anxiety by remembering that you have yet to have a chance. You know that once you have a job you’ll do great, so don’t worry about it. If you just aren’t sure where you fit in the profession of your choice, you’ll find your way. The best thing you can do to quiet the anxiety is to throw yourself into the job search and get some experience applying and interviewing for the jobs that you want and deserve. In time, you’ll find that there is nothing to be anxious about.
Anxiety can be lessened if you make a plan for your job search. First, decide when you’ll start applying and interviewing for jobs. The longer you wait, the more pressure you’ll likely feel to hurry up and get a job. If you are feeling anxiety about landing a job that’ll help pay the bills and get your career underway, be sure to start applying long before graduation. Many students do this and actually get a job that will start after graduation months before the big day. Landing your first job before graduation will take a lot of the anxiety away because you can focus on your grades, your social life, and really just enjoy the last weeks and months of your college experience.
The best thing you can do is plan long before it’s time to start the search where you want to live, what companies, firms, or corporations you’d love to work for, where you’ll look for jobs to apply for, and how prolific you’ll be about sending out resumes. You’ll also want to have your resume ready, as well as an outstanding cover letter before you start applying for jobs. If you aren’t sure how to format your resume, get with a professional and put together a resume that will help you feel confident about the application profess. Many people find it helpful to actually put this plan on paper, because then you can check off things as you go and really see your progress. Sometimes, being able to see your progress as you go will lessen the anxiety you may feel about the job search.
You might find a timeline beneficial when you are working through the job search process. For instance, about one month before you’re ready to start applying for jobs you’ll want to write your resume or hire an individual to help you with your resume. Two weeks before you start applying review the resume and then start browsing online employment websites, local newspapers, or get information on companies that you’d like to work for as well as the guidelines each place has about education, experience, and resume submittal. When you have compiled all this information, you’re ready to start sending out your resume.
The mistake that a lot of college students make is that they put all their eggs in one basket by applying to just one or two places. You want to really get your name and information out there to several places, even if you really want to hear from just one or two. You’ll find that your anxiety about the job search will heighten if you don’t really keep your options open because everyone needs a backup plan. It’s better to get a job offer from your third or fourth choice if your first choice doesn’t come through. It’s better to have a job that you would have taken as a third choice than no job at all. Even if you are 98% sure that you’ll land your first choice you should apply for others as well, just to decrease the amount of anxiety you feel about getting a job at all.
Applying for jobs right out of college should cause some anxiety, it’s an important first step into the “real world” after college. But, you shouldn’t be so anxious that you cannot do the things you need to do to get a job. Take the time to understand why you have anxiety, form a detailed job search plan, and keep your options open and you’ll soon be applying for jobs with excitement!
Job Search Tips