Job Search Survival Skills: COVID19 Edition

“It’s not a good time to look for a job.” “Why did COVID happen during my senior year?” “It’s not fair that I have to deal with this.”  These are all things I’ve heard from students during this academic year.  You’re right, there’s no “fair” to any of this, but that’s life and we’ve all needed to adapt!

If you research survival, you’ll quickly find that those who prosper in “unfair” experiences and most quickly adapt to their world in the now are the ones who make it out alive.  The ones who don’t keep a calm head, or spend too much time focusing on blaming an external force typically perish in the woods, on the mountain, at sea.

Believe it or not, students are getting jobs and employers are hiring. The Kelley Spring Career Fair is being attended by more employers than previous spring fairs. For students who haven’t started or who have taken a break from engaging in their search, now is the time to start or re-engage. I get it.  We’ve all had to be tremendously resilient during this time.  Perhaps putting your job search on hold was the way to survive academically this fall, or emotionally after having a few setbacks.  That’s ok, take a pause, take a breath, but don’t give up. You got this! There’s still time to reengage your search to pursue a full time or internship role. Employers are interested in hearing from you.  It’s the time to focus on your skills and act.  You have everything in your toolkit that you need to secure a position so now it’s time to use those skills.

Job search survivors:

  1. Have a strategy.
  2. Set small goals and celebrate small wins.
  3. Use the resources they have wisely (make an appointment with the UCS, contact peers, ask for help).
  4. Embrace the facts but stay positive and optimistic – this search will take time and considerable effort. Pace yourself.
  5. Use their energy and time efficiently – Applying to endless jobs without connecting with people at an organization is like walking in the woods without a compass. You may feel like you’re getting somewhere but you’re likely just wasting energy.
  6. Are confident in their skills and their will to succeed.
  7. Rest when they need to.
  8. Don’t give up.

If you don’t know where to begin, start with step 3 and a UCS career coach can help you take that first step with your search. You can make an appointment with a coach on Handshake.

If you are feeling completely overwhelmed, the IU Health Center provides counseling (CAPS) with trained professional staff who can also give you confidential support.

By Kori Renn
Kori Renn Director of Career Advising