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What I wish I had known about the Job Hunt...

I always prided myself on being someone that took on every project with full enthusiasm and passion. When I first embarked on the job hunt, I approached it like I would any other project: research, develop, execute. And so I did; day after day, week after week, and, eventually, month after month. As someone who was always able to produce results after hard work, I couldn't understand why I hadn't procured a job yet. I had the experience, I had the connections, I was passionate, yet the finish line was far from sight.

I knew that finding a job as a new grad was tough and COVID-19 would make it even tougher. I knew that I would never hear back from companies regardless of how many times I applied. I knew that I would have bad experiences with recruiters ghosting me. I knew that rejection would be tough to process, but I would walk out stronger.

But here's what I didn't know:

I didn't know my mood would start to be governed by job posting boards.

I didn't know I would start to re-evaluate my self-worth

I didn't know looking at LinkedIn would make me feel lethargic.

I didn't know the stress would keep me awake at all hours of the night.

I didn't know anxiety would take over me before and after interviews.

And most importantly, I didn't know that I could do everything right and still end up with minimal results.

It took me a while to realize the emotions I was feeling were a sign of burnout, so I stopped EVERYTHING. I stopped applying, stopped posting, stopped stressing, and took a break.

I read all the mystery books I had saved "for later". I learned to bake and cook all the things I ever wanted. I went for long walks in GG park, losing track of time and civilization. For the first time in a long time, I felt FREE. My mind was no longer racing around LinkedIn but was, finally, refreshingly still.

Then, came the hardest part of it all: creating boundaries between me and my beloved LinkedIn. I set limits for how long I could be on LinkedIn, I turned off the application at night, stopped applying on the weekends, and most importantly, I started separating between personal and professional.

I am very lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and family who have done nothing but support me during this entire process; catching my mood swings and realizing I was burnout before I ever could. I'm not going to pretend that my new mindset has shielded me from everything. Rejection still hurts, no-reply recruiters still hurt, but at least I'm on a more healthy job hunt; one where I can appreciate the struggle and the people that I have met along the way.

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