NOTE: This was originally published as part of a post-course series of emails for the March 2020 cohort.
You’ll be asked to set up a tracker in a spreadsheet in order to organize your job search and also keep the career services team informed about it. Maybe it will be a Trello. Either way, please do take this seriously, and make it a habit from the get go. It might seem tedious or onerous, but it works.
You will be applying to as many jobs as you can right now, maybe more than you think possible or necessary, but that is simply the work and the reality. Staying organized will keep you feeling more objective about the process, and also help you not apply for the same job multiple times. It will also help you remember who you need to follow up with, which you will be doing a lot.
The emotional labor of job searching is very real and extremely taxing. Staying organized will help you keep the search a bit at arms length. It’s a numbers game and there’s no point in taking it personally. You will anyway, but keeping the work of searching for a job a safe distance from your heart and your ego can help.
You are going to face a ton of rejection and none of it will be personal. Remember to remind yourself of this, and take time to remind your classmates as well. If you need a reminder and are having a hard time doing it yourself, call someone. Let them help you forgive yourself for taking it personally and find something to laugh about. The brutal truth is that no amount of needing a job or feeling like rejections are a reflection of one’s personal value ever helped anyone get a job.
Prepare yourself for the reality: maybe only 5% of the places you apply to will ever even get back to you. Even to let you know that you’re not a fit for what they’re looking for. You will probably never hear anything about why you were considered a bad fit, or what would have made your application more competitive. Interview processes will demand a lot of your time and emotional energy, when you even get them, and even then, you are likely going to get to the final stages of at least a handful of processes before ever getting an offer. This is just normal and nothing is wrong with you if this happens.
Even if one of your peers gets a job before you.
Celebrate their success and try to find out if there is anything they did which you can learn from. Let yourself feel the sting of jealousy if it comes, but resolve to pick yourself back up and redouble your own efforts. Don’t lose yourself in it, you are good and whole and worth it.