A year ago, I was finishing my SAGrad journey as a first generation graduate student. At age 24, I was proud to have one of my biggest life goals accomplished—earning a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and Higher Education. After two years of hard-work, dedication, and effort, I did it. With all of the excitement in that moment and hearing my name as I crossed the stage to receive my degree, there was also fear. Despite balancing a productive semester as a graduate Residence Director with my academics, I was still on the SASearch post graduation. During my time studying for the Comp exams, planning building events, and goal setting, job searching was my big motivator as a second year grad. From looking at jobs daily to planning interview questions, I made sure my search kept going strong.
As a Type A person, I not only wanted a job before graduation but I wanted my ideal job. That was the biggest goal I wanted to achieve. Even after graduation—one of the biggest moments in my life—I have a “I still have one more goal to accomplish” note in my planner of earning a full-time position. I want to share this bit of my story for all the graduates who are still searching for their SAPro position. Here are some tips on how to make the “transition” period of your search a positive one.
Don’t Fear The Process Of Searching
During my summer months of searching, I feared the outcome of my search. From questioning where would I be in a few months to when it would end, my search turned stressful. My advice to recent SAGrads is to take some time to plan your search. Don’t let the expectations of “I need a job now” get to you or take away from your success. You have earned a Masters Degree and completed a new chapter in your life. Let the positive reminders of your success be a motivator towards this unknown chapter. Remind yourself that you can do it. Despite the positive spins, the search can be hard to deal with for many people, and it brings its bad days. Remember to use your supportive circles, search for positions you like, and never give up on yourself.
Something that made job searching less stressful was a chart I made to track my search progression. I had a list of positions for which I already applied and a positive quote towards making the effort to apply for the job. Despite how long the journey may seem, remember your past success stories, and use them during this time period.
Celebrate Each Step Of Job Searching
Sent in a resume? Drafted a cover letter? Sent an email to follow up with a job for which you are in the running? These are all amazing steps you should be proud of when job searching. Yes, the ultimate goal is to earn a full-time position. However, each primary step matters. During down periods of the search, it can be healthy to reflect on the small steps you have made towards your big moment. Every time you send out a resume, look for a job, or get a call back, you are progressing. Focusing too much on the need to get a call or the “big call” can take away from your moments of happiness.
The job search (like everything in life) has its phases and one missed call or rejection does not define your success. Everyone in the SA world has their story, views, and thoughts on the search process. From number of positions held to number of interviews, everyone has a different outcome in the search. Just know that the steps you take now will help you stay ahead in the race.
Comparisin Is A Thief Of Joy
At times during your search, you may have cohort members, friends, and fellow peers around the country searching with you. Some may find positions early, and others may need a bit more time. Both are okay! Getting a job earlier than a peer or waiting longer doesn’t mean one person is better than the other. Searching happens at different moments and will work out for everyone who is on this path. Focus on what makes you amazing, your story, and why you will not give up on your success.
If you remember anything from this post, remember that you still have a pen in your hand to write new chapters of your story. Some chapters will have positive endings and others will have page-turning moments, but you can write a best seller.
Conclusion: Remember that you are worth a great job, success in the world, and will be great as a professional. The emotions of the post graduate road can be difficult and at times, even the worst. During my search, I had moments where I felt close to an offer and times when I didn’t. Both good and bad emotions are important when it comes to the job search. To those still looking for the next step after graduation, keep moving forward. Don’t let the hard times get you down. Take it day by day. You are worth it. Remember, you can accomplish your goals if you decide to go for them. Best wishes, and good luck to you all.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”-Confucius
> BONUS <
Podcast with Kristen Abell on Her Unconventional Path