Jingy Yen, Career Counselor
When I was in college, I had trouble figuring out how to balance my time between my commitments, classes, and looking for jobs. I knew I had to sit down and think about applying for things, but after a long day of exams, meetings and projects this seemed almost impossible. My career advisor gave me some advice that I constantly pass on to my students – treat the job search like a class. By doing this, I was able to compartmentalize and the job search didn’t seem like a looming thing that I stressed about all day. To ensure successful implementation of this strategy, there are two easy steps to follow:
- Set aside designated time
Schedule time every week to work on your job, internship or graduate school search. This seems obvious, but the most important thing is to not schedule things over it. Treat it like a class by making it consistent and not something you can easily miss.
- Don’t worry about it the rest of the time
You know you will work on “career stuff” at a certain time every week, so don’t worry about it the rest of the week. This helped me tremendously because I didn’t feel the constant pressure of having to look for something when I knew I would have time to work on it later. Let yourself have some time off!
Of course there will be times that you have to do things outside of the designated time, like answer time sensitive emails or go to an interview (kind of like homework!). I found that by setting aside the time earlier in the week, I was able to proactively schedule these things, be more prepared and feel more organized throughout the entire process.
I’ve used this strategy for many other things in my life – so it doesn’t work just for career related things! Anytime you have a stressful issue that seems to take over everything, this can be a way to tackle it one step at a time.