Career Clusters Preparation Stories + Advice

Staying Positive During the Job Search

Like many of life’s challenges, searching for jobs and internships can be emotionally taxing. Unlike most challenges, the effort you put in may not be reflected in an immediate result. If you work hard on a paper, it shows up in your grade. If you put work into a sport or playing an instrument, your play improves. But the job search can be singularly unrewarding, until you actually get the offer you want. 

Because the job or internship search can involve a fair amount of rejection, you need to have the right attitude; take the right actions; and assemble a network of caring people to support you. 

Attitude – don’t take it personally

People get rejected from jobs for all kinds of reasons which have nothing to do with their worth as people or even as candidates. You may be well qualified for the job, do all the right things, and still not be contacted. 

Sometimes there is an internal candidate – someone who already works for the organization – but company rules dictate that the job gets posted anyway. Maybe the organization had 50 applicants for the role, and there were a handful of other people who looked slightly better on paper. 

Frequently, the outcome is not under your control. Ironically, acknowledging this fact can be freeing – rejection is just part of the process, not a referendum on your worth.

Action – take steps to improve your candidacy

Focus on the elements of the job search where you do have some control. Maybe you didn’t get past the Applicant Tracking System because you didn’t have the right keywords in your resume. Maybe you didn’t have a strong cover letter, targeted to the job and the organization. Maybe you need to improve your interview skills

TIP: Get coaching and support on any of these topics from a BC career coach.

You should also incorporate career conversations into your job or internship search – don’t spend all your time sending resumes out into the deep space of the online marketplace. Seek out friendly BC alumni in Eagle Exchange who can share about their career path, inform you about trends in their industry, and advise you on best practices. Becoming informed and getting connected to professionals in your chosen field will help you feel more in control of your job search.

TIP: You can have conversations with BC alumni who share an identity with you. Once your Eagle Exchange account has been approved, search under Explore the Community >> More Filters >> Do you identify with any of the following affinities or groups?

Support – line up people who can support you lovingly

In addition to getting assistance from alumni in Eagle Exchange and a BC career coach, identify people who can support you emotionally and spiritually. The ideal person already knows you well; is rarely judgmental; and knows how to pump you up when you’re feeling down. 

You may want to set up a weekly 20-minute conversation with this person. If you need five minutes to gripe and complain, set a timer. Spend the other fifteen minutes discussing the achievable goals you set the previous week and setting further small but significant targets for the coming week.

The job or internship search can be emotionally difficult, but with the right attitude, actions and support, you can achieve a great outcome!

Peter Hunt
Peter Hunt
Assistant Director, Career Education

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