I graduated college four years ago, and on my graduation day, it rained. While many embraced the transitory period between being a naive but eager post-undergrad and a young, successful adult chasing her dreams, I couldn’t help but feel a little helpless and nervous about my future. Some may call it an existential crisis or a even a quarter-life crisis, but the events leading up to my graduation to adulthood were not pretty. For anyone who graduated between 2008 and 2009, your career outlook may have been shattered by the financial crisis. Banks were failing right and left; markets were down; lay-offs were rampant; and businesses closed. As budding journalist, my options were slim. Even with three internships under my belt and four years of experience at my college paper, I wasn’t going to cut it. My ship was sinking and I couldn’t stay afloat.
Over the next few months, I obsessed over job hunts, applied to nearly 20 jobs a day, and wrote hundreds of cover letters. But after countless interviews and rejections, I finally landed a job, which has opened up many exciting opportunities for me to grow my career. The experience I’ve gained, the people I’ve met and worked with, and the connections I’ve made are invaluable. But throughout the painstaking journey, I’ve learned that the key to landing a job in this extremely competitive market is to stay positive and passionate about your goals.
As Dave Sanford, the Executive Vice President for Client Relations at Winter, Wyman, who has been helping clients develop a strategy for recruiting and hiring prospective employees, wrote in a recent Mashable article, your attitude is the only thing you can control in the whole process. Moreover, having a good attitude and being confident will give you an edge over other applicants who have been on their tenth interview and are emotionally worn. Having ups and downs in the job process is inevitable. There will be moments when you feel defeated, but there will also be moments when you feel the excitement and sense of accomplishment when you finally land a job. So keep your head up and put your best face (or at least fake it) forward. Good luck!