5 Ways the Bolt Bus is Like your Job Search

by Dr. Joseph Barber

Greyhound_BoltBus_80021. It’s a little chaotic
The process of getting on board the Bolt bus can feel a little confusing – especially if it is your first time traveling using this service. People are standing around asking each other whether this is the right place for the bus to wherever. The most common response is often “I hope so…”. Your own job search can start off in a similar way. You’ll ask your friends and colleagues what they are doing to look for jobs, and there will be some group-level hope that you are doing it in the right way. Don’t worry, you’ll soon find your way after what seems like a stuttering start. If you see the job search as a multi-step process, then this can help you navigate your path more effectively. Step 1: feel mentally prepared to begin and then do so!

2. That $1 ticket
When you are booking your bus tickets online, occasionally you will catch sight of the elusive $1 ticket. Typically, this is for a journey time that doesn’t work for your plans. Having some flexibility in your travel plans can help you take advantage of this. Similarly, you may find great opportunities beyond the narrow search parameters you might have set yourself at the beginning of your search. There is likely a niche for your passion and skills in every industry and career field.

3. You never know who you will meet
I would be very happy if I always had 2 seats to myself on the Bolt bus. Cheap tickets to and from NYC are hard to resist, though, and so you are likely to have some company. See these as networking opportunities. When you are on the job hunt you will be interacting with many different people, and the questions you ask and clarifications you seek can be the beginnings of really useful discussions.

4. Seatbelts
Sometimes the bus journey can feel a little bit rough. Don’t feel embarrassed to wear your seatbelts. In job terms, take the time to stop and chat with a career advisor if you feel stuck or have hit some obstacles. We are happy to discuss action plans and next steps with you.

5. Point A to B
Getting that job is your goal, and if you use the right tools then you will eventually get there. The Bolt bus doesn’t do a bad job – even on icy days like today. It isn’t the only way to get to NYC, though, and with some forethought you can also integrate different strategies to reach your destination. You next job will likely come from a combination of online applications, career fairs, networking, informational interviews, and a sprinkling of blind luck.

Good luck and come and see us in Career Services soon. Perhaps I’ll even see you on the Bolt bus this semester!

Author: Joseph

Joseph Barber is a Senior Associate Director at Career Services serving graduate students and postdocs. He has a PhD in animal behaviour and animal welfare, and continues to teach these subjects as an adjunct professor at Hunter College (CUNY).