Don’t Have a Job? Don’t Panic—Yet!


For most of us, the upcoming weeks of spring semester are when the job search bursts out of nowhere, and you find yourself in a sudden panic over your undetermined future. Resumes are flying off printers, and you’re begging everyone you know to be a reference. You’re filled with questions: What do I want to do? Am I even qualified for this job? How much should I get paid?

Trust me: We’re going through the same thing.

This isn’t like anything we’ve ever done before. Most of us have applied to internships and part-time jobs, when there was only a little pressure to have experience and make some summer cash. But there is a reason they call it the job hunt: We focus and use every trick we know to make ourselves look as good as possible in person and on paper.

It starts as a question from family members and friends: “Have you started looking for a job?” The casual reply of “not yet” is no big deal, until you start to wonder, “Should I be?” Soon enough, you find yourself surrounded by stacks of cover letters that are only slightly different from each other, applications for jobs you don’t even know if you qualify for, and a dozen different Safari tabs with information on each company you’re considering.

But here’s the thing …

… We still have plenty of time. It’s only February, and graduation is still a comfortable three months away, giving us weeks to figure out where we want to start and how to get there. If you haven’t started planning yet, it’s okay. Nichols College faculty and staff understand what you’re going through, and they want to help. It’s even encouraged to reach out to your professors with questions and concerns, and to let them reassure you that you’re going to be successful.

I applied for my first full-time position only a couple days ago, and I never stopped second-guessing myself. I asked friends, coworkers, and more than one professor to read my cover letter, review my resume, and double check my LinkedIn profile. When I finally typed the email, complete with attached resume and professional profile, I couldn’t bring myself to hit the “send” button. In that moment, I realized it was real and that this was a defining step in my developing career.

In the end, I sent the email, and the world didn’t blow up; I made my first move toward planning life after graduation. At the end of the day, you should know that it’s normal to worry about life-changing events, and the only thing you can do to hurt your chances is to be unprepared.

Remember, if you have any questions about the application and hiring process, the Nichols College Career and Professional Development Center will help you through every step.

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