A friend and I were talking recently and decided that there are three major, tumultuous situations that plague the twenty-something. They are (in no particular order): the job hunt, dating life, and the apartment scramble. I, personally, have always found the job hunt to be the worst of all. If you don’t have a job, you can’t afford an apartment, and no one dates homeless people…so you’re pretty much screwed.
When faced with an insanely stressful situation (such as any of the aforementioned) the urge is to get yourself out of it as quickly as humanly possible. That could result in settling for that apartment in Bushwick with cockroaches and five roommates. Or dating that toothless guy you met on Ok C for way too long. Or, maybe even worse, taking the first job you can find without even really wanting it. Of course, it’s always better to be employed than not, but you don’t want to do this hunt again in a few months do you? OF COURSE NOT.
Here are a few tips for the application process that will help you avoid a potential career mistake.
1. Apply within a wide range. Basically, don’t limit yourself. So what if you majored in journalism? Jobs in that field aren’t exactly easy to find. Really dig into your resume and your pool of experience when applying. If you did some design work for an internship that could open up a whole new career path for you.
2. But definitely have a range. Of course, you should still cap off your search at some point. If you’re just widely applying to jobs that you have no interest in actually doing then you’re wasting your time and theirs.
3. Consider your future self. It sounds cliche, but where do you see yourself in five years? Ten? Think of each job opportunity as an investment toward the future you want. Think of that position on your resume down the line. Will it help you get where you want? If not then maybe pass on that one.
4. Use your network. Not just on LinkedIn. Reach out to mentors, past coworkers, people you’ve met along the way. A foot in the door helps immensely and you never know what opportunities are out there until you ask.
Sure, at some point it is a numbers game. Diligence is important when you’re on the hunt, but applying to jobs that are a dead end for your future won’t be beneficial. Be honest with yourself.
xo The Capitalista
Alexandra Saville (@CapitalistaBlog) is a PR & Media Outreach Manager. She has experience in the publishing and marketing worlds and started her own publishing company right out of college.
Alexandra Saville is the Media and Writing Specialist at Law Street Media. She has experience in the publishing and marketing worlds and started her own publishing company right out of college. Her blogs, The Capitalista and Capitalista Careers, focus on the young and the entrepreneurial.