I have spent the last two months attending counseling on resumes, cover letters and interviews; applying for jobs online, and meeting with employers. I have heard sayings such as “when you don’t have a job, it is your full-time job to search for one,” and “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I figured, it can’t be that difficult, you just put in the time and, like school, you apply where you want, they realize your merit and bam! you’ve got a dream job that you’re passionate about and pays really well… How naïve of me. I have agonised over cover letters and resumes, with each application requiring 5 hours of grueling preparation. I have been faced with rejection time after time, and all of it has had a mental toll on me. Coming out of McGill, I have hardly had to prove my merits because they were there clearly posted on my transcript. I had rarely been rejected for research or VP positions that I had wanted. Now, I am stewing in self-doubt, doubting my credentials and my ability to work, and I am unsure of what kind of work I want to do. In order to snap out of it, I have found that the greatest way to get my spirits up is to relate to others. Here are 3 groups of people that are helping me piece out this time in my life.
When I was on the Varsity Badminton Team, it was difficult to recruiting new talent because students believed that it is a huge time commitment. Personally, I felt being on the team did not take my time away, but rather it saved my time. Unfortunately, I only joined in my third year due to injuries. But my first semester on the team, I achieved my best GPA. And despite no longer playing for the team, currently I continue to train in a private badminton club. Here are the three main reasons why I believe having a regular extracurricular activity makes me more efficient and effective with my time:
We’re back in the thick of it now. The school semester is as follows (monthly); Septry-anything-out-and-apply-for-everything, Octotally-in-over-your-head-with-work, Novacate-life-and-camp-in-the-library, Decearnestly-study-for-exams-and-wait-for-Chrsitmas.
It can seem like all too much at once. You want to get better grades this year and find an internship and be an executive while also penning your early memoir and inventing the time machine.
Sometimes it’s best to take a second and slow down. Here’s some info and advice for those of us (myself included) that need a pre-break to pre-manage our prospects.
McGill Connect (the Ten Thousand Coffees networking platform) is taking off and people are seeing great results. It makes it easy to break the ice and ask professionals out for a meet…because in being on the platform, they’ve agreed to be open to meeting. It’s engaging, interactive, easy to use and incredibly resourceful. There’s even a tinder-esque feature that can randomly show you profiles based on your interests.
I love it. It’s tech-savvy and progressive and so easy to use. Although, it can be nerve racking. Especially for those of us just starting out. I know a lot of people that think talking on the phone is weird, let alone contacting a stranger to sit down for life chats about their ambitions.
Looking back, I think I stumbled into journalism with more curiosity than career drive. I’m the kind of person that always needs to ask, and runs up a phone bill because I crave talking. Journalism began as a way to keep myself busy and my writing sharp but evolved into a love of storytelling. When my boss found out about this, she raced over to my desk and told me that she was going to connect me to the McGill News Editor, Daniel McCabe.
She emailed, I emailed, he accepted, and I was genuinely impressed at how it all happened so quickly.
First, I was shocked. I was annoyed because, like a true McGillian, I didn’t want to be wrong. On the other-hand, I began second-guessing myself and launched into a spiral of creative self-doubt.
I’ve written about criticism before and this isn’t wholly dissimilar. What do you do when you feel challenged? When is it the right decision to take the heat or to stand your ground?
As an English major with a deep set yen for all things literary, I consider my passion pretty strong and worth following. He disagreed, saying that graduates today are too often told to follow their passion and pursue outlandish dream jobs with no real perspective for the careers that actually need to be filled.
What I thought was interesting, though, was how often I began hearing this “Don’t follow your passion” speech.
It seemed to be popping up everywhere as convocation ceremonies began. What exactly does this mean?
Criticism is a difficult tool. In the right hands, it can fix, improve and perfect. But it’s all in how you take your tea, so to speak. Not everyone is going to sugar coat it and oftentimes it’ll just be given to you straight. It’s understandable that these things can make you feel a bit bitter, but criticism is meant for you to use so that you can be better. It’s meant to be considered and applied but not destructive. You should be proud of the work you accomplish but open to the possibility of imperfection. Everything in moderation *sips tea*.
Today I went to my final classes of second year. Most of them were review, a lot of them let me know of the difficulty of exams to come. I will be writing essays for what feels like a very long time. But this is something everyone can relate to. Rather, I’m excited for my summer.
Big changes are coming my way for the 2016-2017 academic year – I’ve been accepted to attend Durham University in England on a McGill exchange! This is going to be a huge life change, but one for which I am extremely excited to begin preparing. (more…)