A Balancing Act Between Prestige and Preference

There is nothing wrong with being career driven, in fact it is admirable and encouraged to have a goal that you are actively working towards achieving. Taking every opportunity that you come across and seeking out ways to make yourself stand out as a candidate when applying for positions, through your education and experience demonstrates an immense amount of motivation and dedication. However, while this “do whatever to be successful” mindset can be very productive it can also be detrimental, as one may become too robotically focused on what will “look good” on their resume, resulting in an unintentional ignorance towards equally beneficial opportunities.

This past Winter I noticed a sudden rise in the stress levels of my peers as finals approached and they anxiously began their search for Summer employment. Applying to jobs can be a daunting task in itself but it can be even more overwhelming when you see all of your peers applying to similar positions as you. Suddenly it becomes almost impossible to not compare your achievements to theirs and while not maliciously intended, a subconscious competition begins between you and them to see who is the closest to par. While everyone is trying to bulk up their resumes with impressive credentials, I have noticed some of them seem unsatisfied with their positions and are simply accepting whatever will glamorize their CV’s to distinguish themselves from other applicants. While this is great in terms of planning and gaining relevant experience, along with helping to build potential contacts, it also is important to note that there should not be this lingering fear of accepting a position you prefer over one that seems to offer more prestige.

Regardless of which position and job you accept, your experience there will provide you with valuable skills that you can apply in a variety of channels. It is important to find a healthy balance between what you want and what will benefit you. Summers during University serve as  the perfect opportunities to explore your options so that you can build the career path that satisfies you the most. Having an impressive resume is helpful, but having a great experience will make your work feel more worthwhile and enjoyable. Try not to have tunnel vision when it comes to resume building, and instead open yourself up to all experiences. Everyone is on their own individual career path, so if yours differs from your peers don’t be afraid if you’re taking the road less traveled because ultimately, your experience will be just as beneficial in its own way.

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2 responses to “A Balancing Act Between Prestige and Preference”

  1. Noah says:

    Great insight Trisha!

  2. Haley says:

    Such an interesting perspective Trish!

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