We all know job searching is not easy. Three months after starting my first professional job search, I will be the first person to tell you that. I’m no expert; indeed, I am not done with this process, rather, I’m just starting out. But since I have many opinions, I’m going to weigh in with some job searching advice.
Be nice to each other.
The life and times of grad students in our last semester is getting intense. Okay, maybe it’s always been intense. But with our capstones/theses/comps, the normal rigor of other grad classes, the demands of assistantships, the pressures of real life just around the corner, and the job search process, stress is high. As I write, hundreds of my peers and colleagues are gearing up for TPE at orientation, and C3 at ACPA is just around the corner. And although I’m not going to a placement conference this year, I and countless others are scheduling phone interviews like crazy (one each day this week, for example).
Have I stressed you out yet? Probably if you are going through all of this, you are thinking either “Yeah, sure, that sounds about right” or engaging in some type of panicked behavior. If it’s the latter, I’m really sorry. Have a good cry and an ice cream, you deserve it.
My point here is not to stress everyone out though; my point is to subtly remind everyone of what’s important, meaningful, and lasting: our friendships. So let’s make sure that we stay nice to each other throughout this crazy rat race. Here’s the truth: we are applying to the same jobs. But honestly, we can each only take one. So there’s really no point in getting crazy and competitive about this whole business. Let’s be happy for each other. We’ve been through the trenches together, friends. We’ve spent the past 2 years in libraries and coffee shops, burning the midnight oil together. We’ve supported each other through campus tragedies, offered advice on working with student issues, volunteered at events and programs, celebrated in triumphs, and commiserated in failures. We have always been in this together, and things should be no different now.
So no matter what, let’s remember to be good to each other. Goodness knows, we all need a little extra love right now, don’t we?