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Job Search Strategies for Grad Students during Covid-19

Job Search and Well-being

Current job seekers need to acknowledge that the search is not compartmentalized and vocational stressors you face cannot be disentangled from other dimensions of your life, sources of stress, and overall well-being. This is a time to:

Finding Control Amidst Uncertainty

With regards to the job search, we generate the most anxiety attempting to take control over things we have no control over, like:

Instead, spend time and energy putting together a plan and building week-by-week SMART goals . Starting with a goal of “get a job” can become overwhelming and feel unattainable. Instead, set time for reflection, outreach, and crafting targeted application documents. Consider the things you do have control over:

Structure Your Job Search

Start a list of institutions, organizations, and departments to start a networking plan based on relationships, not transactions.

You don’t need to wait for a position to be posted to reach out to professionals at different organizations – networking is not meant to put you in a position where you are asking a stranger for a job. Additionally, many graduate students are looking for more experienced level positions, that don’t follow particular recruiting cycles. Conducting goal-driven conversations coming from genuine interest will leave impressions with current professionals that you’re interested in future opportunities and could open the door to the hidden job market.

Along with networking, fight the urge to apply to anything and everything. Now, more than ever, is a time to remember your long-term professional goals and vision. Make a plan that:

As you navigate your search, remember, we are all part of a larger Northwestern community, and that you’re equally part of your undergraduate and previous graduate-granting communities as well. While we work to construct our new mental models and navigate the myriad of stressors each day presents, now is the time to remember which networks you belong to and embrace support as part of resilience.