It can be tough to enjoy job hunting when the looming fear of ramen noodles (the 10-cent kind, not the trendy-hipster-instagrammable kind) or moving back in with your parents is hanging over your head.
Searching for a new job doesn’t need to be terrifying.
It’s a great way to grow, and mastering the art of the resume & interview is one of the key skills of “adulting.” Job hunting doesn’t have to suck. Here’s how:
1. Luxuriate in your rare season of free time.
If you aren’t currently employed, congrats, you officially have more free time than the rest of us. While you’re in this season, enjoy it! But not by gaining 20lbs from edible cookie dough and binging on Netflix until 3:00 am every night.
(Ok, you can finish season 2 of Stranger Things first. I’ll wait.)
Use your newfound free time to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Write a novel. Learn to play the violin. Take up rock climbing. Train for a marathon. Read the complete works of Dickens. You’ve got no excuses, so just do it. Bonus? While you’re having fun doing something you love, you will probably be putting yourself in great places to network with cool new people and enhance your job-hunt.
2. Apply for jobs you’re really excited about.
Even if you don’t feel completely qualified, apply anyway. Aim high. If you get an interview, even if you don’t get offered the job, that counts as a huge win! It means they see you as a worthy candidate. This is the perfect time to continually refine your resume. But go ahead and take off that competitive hula-hooping you did in college. You’re a big kid now.
3. Take this opportunity to work a fun (or at least interesting) part-time job.
While you’re on the hunt, help pay the bills by working a part-time job that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible. Intern on an organic farm. Work at a store you love. Teach painting classes. Be a line cook or dishwasher at a really great restaurant. You’ll learn something new, meet interesting people, and enrich yourself for the future.
4. Figure out what you really want to do.
While you are not a magical unicorn who will someday be President of the United States, (although these days, who knows), your work should be fulfilling and meaningful to you. Use this moment between jobs to do some soul searching and figure out what you really want to be doing with your life. This dry spell could end up being a blessing in disguise.
5. Take this golden opportunity to get your crap together.
College is over. It’s time to be a grownup. This is the perfect time to use your empty hours to get your crap together. Start good habits. Exercise. Learn to cook healthy meals. Get your finances in order. Go to bed early and get enough rest. Say “bye Felicia” to dramatic friendships and unhealthy romances. (Maybe even delete Tinder from your phone.) There is no time like the present to become a real, live adult. Which will make you infinitely more marketable as an employee.