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4 Reasons You’re Scared to Start the Job Search (and Why You’re Looking at Them All Wrong)

By | Abby Wolfe |

I should’ve been job searching during my final semester of college. And I did—a little. But the whole process really intimidated me. I scanned the sites for openings and threw myself into the ring for a few random positions, but for the most part, I kept pretending it wasn’t on my to-do list.

And then I decided, “Well, I’m not sure what I want to do after college, so, I’ll go to grad school!” I applied to one school, got in, and then—surprise, surprise—went through the same exact dilemma two years later when I graduated. Sure, I had three more letters after my name—Abby Wolfe, MPH, woohoo!—but, unfortunately, my grad school curriculum didn’t include “Job Searching 101.”

Don’t get me wrong. Grad school was great. I learned a lot and met a lot of awesome people. But the reason I chose to pursue my master’s degree was not. I was prolonging my entrance into the “real world” because I was good at being a student, but not good at being a graduate. After all, every other time I graduated in my life I just moved on to more schooling (and yes, I count kindergarten graduation).

Going through this at any point in your life can be scary for multiple reasons. But, alas, you can’t escape it. So instead of putting it off any longer, let’s look at your four biggest fears square in the eyes and face them together.

Fear #1: You’ll Have to Spend All Your Free Time Doing It

You’re right. This process can be quite time consuming. First, you need to sift through the many postings to find opportunities that actually fit you and your interests. Then, you have to dedicate time to putting together a solid application, which can include a resume, cover letter, referenceswriting samples, and more. And then, if you get an interview, you have to spend time prepping. You get the picture—it’s not just one click of a button.

But here’s the good news—there are ways in which you can optimize your time spent searching. Block off specific times in your week to sit down and focus solely on this process. And when I say specific times, I don’t mean “I will work on this over the weekend.” Instead, I’m thinking more along the lines of “I will do this on Wednesday night from 7 to 9 PM.” And then at 9 PM, you’re done, you’re free.

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