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The Job Search Jitters

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23

On the Outside Looking In Blog

As finals week approaches and the end of the semester is in our sights, the energy on campus buzzes with nervousness. Some people are running around trying to catch up on assignments that they had neglected while others are trudging along with dread looming over them like a cloud. I am somewhere in the middle of feeling nervous and calm.

I feel nervous for assignments that may be slipping through the cracks and also nervous for the harrowing experience of job searching. However, I am calm because I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about any real paper and pencil, multiple choice, or short answer exams. I only have projects to turn in which are few and far between. Therefore, I don’t really feel the pressure that everyone else is crushing under.

Still, there is something deep inside me that makes me feel uneasy and that is the job searching process. I have no idea when I should be applying to jobs. Is that something I should be doing right now? Should I just enjoy this time that I have to myself now? Is it something that I should worry about next semester? I know the answer to these questions is most likely to just start applying now, but somehow, I still don’t feel ready.

Over the break, I had the opportunity to shadow another professional, the head of marketing at Capital One Hall in Virginia. The performing arts space just opened up last year and it was interesting to follow her around all day. I got to see what she does and how she interacts with people. She remembers everyone’s names and is kind to anyone that crosses paths with her. She is cheerful and upbeat and always ready to help you out when you need it. She is the kind of person who is perfect for the role of head or marketing. I realized that to be in this field you have to be a people person. Getting to have this opportunity gave me a lot more to think about than before wondering if a job in marketing is really where I should be forever and ever.

This brings me to my experience today in class where my professor brought in Mount alumni to speak on their career experiences, and this is where it all started to make sense. After the three wonderful alumni shared their stories, they all had one piece of advice in common; finding a job/career/passion is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes a lot of time and trial and error, and a lot of the time people end up in things they had no idea they would end up in if you had asked them when they were in my shoes. Even as a senior who should have an exact plan for after graduation (according to society), I still don’t have to have everything 100% figured out. In fact, it's important to keep your options open and explore all possibilities.

The alumni also stressed that at the beginning of your career journey you may not strike gold and find your perfect job, or you may find your perfect job, but realize that it is not what you thought it would be. In any case, whatever you start doing, make sure you are doing it well. Doing something that you don’t like to the best of your ability says a lot about your character and can lead you to something you do like.

The shadowing opportunity and the alumni visit helped me to loosen the pressure I had on myself to have everything 100% figured out. As long as I keep moving, I will end up exactly where I am meant to be. If you find yourself stressing about not knowing where you are going, no matter if you are a fresh college graduate or someone who has been lost in the career loop for a while, remember that you do not need to plan out everything exactly because things will work out exactly the way they need to. Keep going and you will get there.

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23