This post was written by Sabrina Woods.
You’ve been working towards this moment for a long time.
There were days you thought it would never come. Now it’s almost here. Graduation Day!
The mere idea of graduation brings up a wild combination of emotions. You are thrilled with the idea of no more papers, exams, or leading a 7-person group project. Your joy, however, might get interrupted as you think about exactly what type of job you want after graduation and the process of getting it.
For the tactical part of your job search you’ve got fantastic resources at hand ranging from the Northeaster Career Center to your own network that has come from co-op and classes.
Now let’s talk about how you can master or tame your job search stress levels as you juggle capstone projects with job interview prep. Here are 5 tips:
- Give yourself some breathing room
This phrase usually means to give yourself space in between activities, but at this time of year that might be impossible. So instead, give yourself a moment to actually breathe. Right now try taking 3 deep breaths, AND after you inhale, hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, before then exhaling slowly. The extra pause seems to deepen the effect and make you feel calmer. If you want to take it a bit further, consider downloading a meditation app or read How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body from the New York Times.
- Crank up the cardio
When we are feeling under stress, a good cardio workout can make a world of difference. Check out the Mayo Clinic’s article, Get Moving to Manage Stress. You’ll learn how hitting the gym releases endorphins which are your brain’s feel good neurotransmitters. Exercise can also be “meditation in motion” pulling your thoughts away from your stressors and to what is happening in the here and now whether that be at the tennis court, pool or weight room.
- Small but committed
Set up and commit yourself to small goals either each day or each week. Think of your job search as a project for class. Break it into manageable pieces and celebrate small wins, such as that first customized cover letter for the consulting job. Get some additional inspiration about setting job search goals here.
- Check your “worry” level
Worry or anxiety at a low level can be good. It helps propel you into action. It can act as a motivator or catalyst. Worry at a heightened level, however, robs you of your energy. For more on how to tame those anxieties when they are getting the best of you, check out Face Your Fear, Free Your Energy.
- Positive affirmations
It might sound like a silly recommendation, but some people have really benefited (myself included) from developing these positive, future oriented statements. The idea here is to say things in a positive way, as if they have already happened. An example of a positive affirmation is “I have landed a job with a great team,” or it could be oriented towards some part of the job search process, “During interviews I am calm and deliver exceptional answers while building strong rapport”. From Psychology Today, you can also review, “5 Steps to Make Affirmations Work for You.”
While it’s true that the job search can be stressful, anytime we are facing the unknown this can be the case. However, you’ve got a team of career counselors at Northeastern that are here to help. And it doesn’t take much to add in an extra workout, break the search into smaller bits and take a few deep breaths.
Want to learn more? Join us for this workshop:
Holistic Approaches to Your Job or Co-op Search
Thurs., March 17, 12:00-1:00pm, 12 Stearns
Sabrina Woods is an Associate Director at Northeastern Career Development and also has a private practice as a Holistic Career / Life Coach & Linkedin Trainer. She has been in this field for 15 years and is a Husky (BA in Business) plus has a Masters in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University in sunny Newport, RI. When not working at NU, teaching Linkedin or talking about mindfulness practices, Sabrina loves to hike, bike and kayak. For more about Sabrina, go to www.sabrina-woods.com.