The single most time-consuming, energy-sapping thing in our lives is our jobs.
If say, we sleep 6 hours and work a 9-to-5 job. Throw in commute (2 hours) and overtime (1 hour), on average, we work almost 12 hours. That is almost 2/3 of our waking hours! What if we are friends with our coworkers? We may go grab a drink after work or hangout during the weekends, overlapping work and social time. Our jobs are more than just the way we make a living, they give us structure, purpose and meaning.
As a graduate student, I fit into the “20-somethings seeking a career foothold” (See New York Times, All Work and No Payoff). How many more internships before a real job? Internship equating meaningful careers? Fetch-the-coffee girl? According to American Psychological Association, 78 percent of Americans view money as a significant source of stress. Furthermore, unemployed and underemployed (people interning, working part-time) workers are twice as likely as their employed counterparts to experience the following: depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem.
It’s important to stay positive. Remember that control (perceived or actual) over our lives make us happier and less stressed! Here are 5 simple ways to deal with un- and under-employment.
- Don’t beat yourself up. You are “not a good fit for this position” does not mean that you are not good enough. Accept the fact that you didn’t get the position, analyze what didn’t work, fix your mistakes and keep trying.
- Eat something that will make you happy. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Black sesame creme brulee!
- Talk to a friend, better, talk to a friend of a friend. Remember, those six-degrees-of-separation connectors may be the people who will lead you to your next job.
- Get a paid internship. In a Forbes article, contributor Rachel Burger writes that unpaid internship are unlikely to help grad-to-be get jobs. Unpaid internships lead to lower-paying jobs. Even if it’s $10/hour, you will feel more invested in your work.
- Skip the whole internship phase. Send your resume, cover letter, but also don’t be scared to contact the hiring person directly. “I think I am a good fit for this position because…”
Believe in yourself, work hard, and keep knocking. You may not hold the key to success right now, but a door is bound to open.