Staying Positive

It’s been a while since my last post and the reason is that, unfortunately, not much has been going on with my job search. I had to take a few weeks off from applying so I could study for some exams.  These exams will determine whether or not I get my degree, so basically, they were pretty important. However, I am now getting back into the swing of applying to a few jobs a week.

I have been applying to jobs for a few months now and I have little to show for it. Nothing positive, but not much negative either. Out of the 15 or so jobs that I’ve applied for, only one has gotten back to me, and it was a “thanks, but no thanks.” Although it’s frustrating, I am trying very hard to stay positive. After all, 14 no-responses really just means that I have 14 possibilities going for me. Of course, I’m sure that not all of them will pan out, but that’s ok – I really only need 1!

To help me stay upbeat, I have been doing everything I can to maximize my selling points. Not every attempt has gone smoothly, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t try. Here’s what I’ve been doing to increase my odds:

  • Adding to my resume. I joined a panel and we got approved to present at a professional regional conference. Although I overextended myself quite a bit (a.k.a. no sleep for a week) to make sure our presentation was great, I was pumped about not only attending my first conference, but doing so as a presenter. Unfortunately, only one person showed.  Due to a scheduling conflict, we ended up with the very first time slot of the very first morning – not exactly prime-time. Nevertheless, it ended up being a worthwhile experience. We delivered the presentation as if there was a room full of enthusiastic professionals and checked out some of the other things going on within the conference. Having never been a part of a presentation of conference magnitude, it was actually helpful to have only familiar faces in the audience and should this occasion arise again (although hopefully with more attendees), I will feel more confident. Plus, that presentation still counts as a resume builder!
  • Spreading the word. I’ve been telling anyone and everyone who will listen what type of job I’m looking for – marketing/publications work for a college/university. In today’s economy, networking and personal connections are your best bet at getting an interview. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone I know will know someone who works in this field. But, if not, hopefully they’ll think of me should they hear of an opening of this sort.
  • Looking for interim opportunities. Seeing as it is now May . . . MAY . . .  and I have yet to score an interview, I highly doubt that I will have a job lined up by graduation on May 29, as I had hoped. Bummer, but not the end of the world. Since the jobs I’m applying for are all within higher ed, it is quite possible that any new positions won’t start until mid- or late-summer. Therefore, I have shifted some of my focus to finding a temporary summer position, something to pay my bills and keep me distracted while I continue my search for a full-time job.

So although things could be going a bit better, not freaking out about it has been quite beneficial. Since I entered this new world of calm and patience, I have been more cheerful while searching for job postings, which probably shows through in my cover letter writing. I am also focusing on the upsides – more time to find a great job rather than just any job, more time to spend with my friends and family before I possibly move away to start my career. Whatever is going to happen will happen, in due time. I’m just going to try my best to create the future I want, while making sure to enjoy the present!


Shannon will complete her studies as a Mass Communication Master’s student at the University of Delaware in May 2010 and is currently searching for a Marketing position at a college or university. She works as the Marketing & Career Resources Graduate Assistant at UD’s Career Services Center, helping students with their career preparation and creating publications such as newsletters and conference materials. Shannon loves sports (go New York!) and music. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.


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