By Emma Clark
Delaney Goodman started her job search in March and applied to five different positions. That was all before Covid19 redefined the landscape. Goodman, ‘20 was confident at the start of her job search and said she hopes to hear back from companies she applied to before the virus hit, but now she’s uncertain. “I had some really exciting potential job opportunities and was in the midst of having interviews. Now it seems I won’t have a clue when I will hear back and if the same opportunities are still available.
“Aside from the uncertainty of life becoming normal again, the job search is adding an extra stress and uncertainty for the beginning of our careers which is even more terrifying and anxiety filling,” Goodman said.
With less than a month until seniors receive their diplomas, job searching is ramping up and so is the stress that comes with a job search during a pandemic. Perfecting a resume, gaining enough interview skills and proofing a cover letter, have become more difficult for seniors during the Covid 19 crisis. While most companies are currently working remotely and the economy is struggling, finding the perfect job right now may feel intimidating and impossible.
“I worry that if I turn this down, nothing else will work out.”Senior at St. Michael’s College
“One of the biggest challenges around this is that everything is changing almost every day so trying to help people with plans they may make is a real moving target right now,” said director of Career Education at Saint Michael’s College Ingrid Peterson. “We are just trying to stay on top of the information that is changing every day, so we can offer the best advice possible to seniors as they are trying to navigate this,” Peterson said.
One senior, who asked to remain anonymous, is struggling to commit to a job that is not their top choice or even close to it. “The problem is that I don’t know if I would take this job if it weren’t for coronavirus. My instinct in any other situation would be to not rush at the first thing that comes my way. I worry that if I turn this down, nothing else will work out.” This rushed feeling is leading seniors to feel obligated to take what they are offered even if the job doesn’t seem it would challenge them or the experience they would gain would help them in the long run. “I feel like new college graduates are already in a relatively poor position to negotiate with companies or be picky about their career prospects, but this brings things to a whole new level.”
The changes that are happening may be challenging but there are ways to find a job that interests graduates, while increasing their skill set and gaining experience in the work world, Peterson said. “One of the things that I’ve been learning as we’re going through this is, because the economy is so uncertain in terms of hiring, students should be really focusing on their skill set, and be flexible about the job that you are actually doing,” Peterson said. “So maybe you’re looking for that dream job and this isn’t the time it’s going to happen.” It is important to take what comes along that will benefit you in the long run rather than struggle to find a dream job in this uncertain time, Peterson explained. “When things do settle down in the economy, then you can start looking for that dream position you are really interested in.”
Students can make appointments via Handshake with the Career Education office for zoom or phone calls about job searches, resumes, cover letters and interviewing.