If you’re a recent college grad, you’ve probably seen posts all over social media that say something like, “I’m so happy to announce that after graduation, I’ll be working full-time at a big company in [insert big and intimidating city here]! Adulthood, here I come!”
Seeing others’ accomplishments can be discouraging, especially when you’re about to be thrown into post-grad life without the peace of mind of knowing that you have a plan. Studies show that for many, social media can have an effect on your well-being, such as having feelings of depression and loneliness.
If you feel that seeing the success of others is having a negative effect on your well being and your job search, don’t fret. Here are five tips that can help make you feel a little better about your job search:
First things first — stop worrying
It doesn’t always sound helpful in the grand scheme of things, but in order to get yourself organized, you need to relax. You’re a recent college graduate. Nobody expects you to be paying for a one bedroom apartment in a big city with a salary and benefits right off the bat, or even at all. You have plenty of time to get things figured out, and yes — you will get a job. It may not be immediately, but the first step to doing so is to try to relax and understand that you will be okay.
Do your research
When it comes to job hunting, doing research about your general field of interest is essential. You should have an idea after getting your degree, but sometimes that doesn’t translate well to actual job postings or sometimes you want something different from what you studied. Start by researching cities that may give you the most value for your industry. If you find a city you like, do more research into how the community is in that city, and if there are networking areas. Once you have a foundation for what you’re looking for, you may feel a little bit better about beginning your search for open positions.
Put some thought into what you want
Make sure you aren’t applying to positions absentmindedly without thinking about why you want to work there, how you can apply your current knowledge, and what you can learn from the position. However, don’t stop applying if haven’t been hearing back from anywhere. You’re probably going to get ghosted by a few (if not most) places, or you’ll just never hear back in the first place. Guess what — that happens to everyone. Just keep your head up, and keep applying.
Do NOT underestimate post-grad internships
If the world were perfect, everyone would have a full-time job with benefits and a salary — the whole package. This isn’t the case, though. Internships are a great way to build experience and personal connections, and if it’s paid, it will at least provide you with some source of income. Your employer may even consider bringing you on full-time at the end of your internship as well.
Stop focusing on social media
Unless you stop using social media altogether, you won’t stop seeing the Facebook and Instagram humble brags. Everyone has their own path — just because you aren’t working at Google, Amazon, SpaceX, or some prestigious agency you’ve never heard of does not mean you aren’t successful as well. If you feel that social media is having a negative effect on your well being, it’s probably best to take some time off. Believe me, it’s possible to go without social media. You just have to do it.
In the end, you’re going to be fine. You may feel defeated, but don’t let that stop you from pursuing jobs. As long as you lay the groundwork for your job search, put some thought into the type of job you actually want (and not settling), consider internships, and focus on yourself rather than others, you’ll end up with a job eventually. You’re smart. Just remember, you didn’t graduate from college for nothing.