By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant
The job search is a challenge for everyone, between excel sheet trackers and endless interviews, the process of finding your dream job can be grueling. Don’t let the stress slow you down! We talked with Hannah Retzkin in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness to get the scoop on her tips for staying calm during the job search.
What advice do you have for job seekers on staying focused and keeping their energy high through the process?
I personally recommend having a time that is your “job search time” in your calendar. Say from 4 pm to 5 pm, “I’m going to apply to jobs” and stick to that window. I don’t recommend actually turning the search into a full-time job because that’s how you burn yourself out and lose energy for what you’re actually interested in. It’s also important to balance that with time to nourish yourself. Whatever your self-care practice is be sure to give yourself space to breathe, away from the job applications.
A lot of times, job seekers feel anxious about their qualifications for a particular role. What do you suggest they do?
I always tell people to apply to anything that excites you, even if a job description seems beyond the scope of what you’ve done. You might see a listing that says you need 5 years of experience but, if you’ve got 2 or 3 years, apply anyway. The worst that can happen is you don’t get the job; best that can happen is you do.
Interviews are probably everyone’s least favorite part of the search. The pressure to make the right call on accepting interviews is tough. Any advice?
Take every interview! Even if it’s a job you’re unsure about it’s a good learning opportunity. Always remember that you are allowed to say no to a job and decline an opportunity that doesn’t feel like a good fit for you. If you notice that the leadership style doesn’t gel with you or if you look around and you don’t connect with the company culture, you can always say no.
Rejection is a part of life but when it comes to the job search it’s particularly discouraging. What advice would you give to students on handling rejection?
It’s really important to remember to not take it personally. If you applied and got an interview– that’s an accomplishment. For the most part, by the time you’ve had an in-person interview with someone, it comes down to the fit. It’s not about whether you have the skills or qualifications, it’s just about how you fit with that particular organization.
Don’t forget you’re interviewing them, too. By the end of the interview, I can usually tell if it’s a good fit mutually. No one likes to feel rejected, but it helps to know that it’s not always directly related to you– sometimes you and an organization just aren’t a match and that’s okay.
Not hearing back from employers almost feels worse than actual rejection. What are things students can do to help with the anxiety they feel around being “ghosted” by employers?
Job searching is kind of like dating and getting ghosted is the worst. You put energy into this application and you never hear back. First of all, always know that unless it says so explicitly in the application, you can always follow up and ask where they are in the process. But, if you’ve followed up and don’t hear back or you don’t get an interview, take some time to ground yourself and remind yourself what qualities you have that will get you hired elsewhere. Trust the process!
When it comes to the job search it’s important to stay patient and strive for balance between the stacks of applications and your own self-care. Remember, you don’t have to go through this process alone! The Career Center is here for you whether you need, resume advice, interview tips or help negotiating that big offer! Our team is excited to help you no matter where you are on the job search.