My morning routine:
9am: Pry my sleepy eyes open. Check all the notifications on my phone. Respond to any pressing emails.
10am: Check the online job listings in my field. Stress about the lack of job openings in my field.
10:10am: Grab a power-up snack from the pantry (my house is always well-stocked—it’s a must) #biscuitbreak
10:15 am: Get a grip and begin my applications for the day. Fine-tune my resume.
12pm: Make networking calls, send networking/follow-up emails, check my school’s job portal
1pm: Lunch (my favorite time of the day)
2pm: Catch up with a friend over coffee
For a 22-year-old recent graduate with a humanities degree, just one day of job-searching can be taxing and discouraging. Maintaining your motivation to keep applying and networking is nearly impossible without the right support. That support comes in many forms: filling snacks, a good night’s sleep, good friends and family. Maybe it’s your favorite lipstick that you wear on all your interviews to make you feel awesome, or maybe it’s a reliable website that sends you job listings as they become available. No matter your ideal combination of “tools,” you do have a set of things that can help you do your best work. Here is my personal toolkit that helps me keep up my routine so that I can reach my professional and personal goals. Check out what I use on a daily basis to help me perform at my best.
Your Fuel: Snackwell’s Biscuit Thins
I absolutely cannot function without satisfying food. I get distracted and frustrated much more easily without snacks that are full of fiber–I need that so I’m not getting up to look for more snacks throughout the afternoon. That’s why I started eating Snackwell’s Biscuit Thins, made with REAL COFFEE (!!) so I can pretend I’m caffeinating. They are packed with fiber, have no partially hydrogenated oils and no high fructose corn syrup. I love that I can switch up the flavors too, with coffee flavors like Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla, and (my fave) Dark Chocolate Mocha. You won’t get bored or tired of snacking on these.
To help you out even more, each biscuit is printed with inspiring words to help you keep yourself moving. Find them at any participating Walmart (oh yeah, did I mention they’re super reasonably priced too?). I went to Norwalk, Connecticut’s Walmart, and you can do the same! Use this coupon to try some for yourself.
Your Resource: Indeed.com
Indeed is my favorite job search website. You can search by any keyword you choose, rather than being limited by preset keywords. You can also search by zip code or city, making it easy to find local listings. One of the best things about Indeed is that you can look for part-time jobs as well as full-time—it also lists internships and contract-work as filters, so finding exactly what you’re looking for is made to be extremely simple.
Your People: Non-Toxic Friends and Family
Toxic friends are the worst ingredient in your job search. Especially those that are of a “misery loves company” mentality. If you have friends that are unemployed and bitter, they might try and bring you down with them. “We don’t have jobs, we’ll never have jobs,” they might say. You, the fabulous, qualified person that you are, absolutely will find a job. Rid yourself of anyone that tells you otherwise. Negative mantras can affect you more than you’d expect. They burrow into your mind and keep you from fulfilling your true potential. Rather than putting up with individual comments, take that person out of your life completely. If that’s not so doable at the moment, at least limit your time with the person, or avoid talking about your career search. Do your thing.
Your De-Stress Mechanisms: Vaca or Stay-ca
While I don’t recommend peacing out during an extremely important time in your life, I do recommend short breaks for a change of scenery. If you can, take a weekend away. Stay with a friend in a different city for a couple of days; do the touristy stuff or just spend some time catching up with your friend. Bolt Bus offers affordable options for travel to major cities like Boston or DC. Tickets can be around $10-15!
If a vacation is not financially doable, save the cash and take a day to yourself a bit closer to home. The outdoors are a fantastic release: exercise releases endorphins and decreases stress. Try researching hiking trails near you, or new towns to explore. Even taking a trip to a new coffee shop or park is a great way to get off your normal path. Taking a break will revitalize you and ultimately help you focus on your tasks at hand.
Your Secret Weapon: Your Favorite Clothes
Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Whether you’re moving around town or at an interview, wear something that makes you feel like you are the absolute best thing on the planet. To clarify: clothes do not make or break you, nor do they heal any and all self-consciousness that you might possess. However, they can make you feel confident enough to put your best foot forward. Even if you’re just at home working on applications, dressing yourself in something that makes you feel stellar might help you put your best self on paper. When you’re on your game, you’re on your game. There’s no question about it.
It’s no secret: being your best self is the key to successfully going strong. Eat snacks that make you feel good, wear clothes that make you feel good, and surround yourself with supportive loved ones that, take a guess, make you feel good. This process is a challenging and long one, so it is important to establish your motivators early on. Use this toolkit as a template and add your own items to personalize your job search. Remember: fill it with positivity and wellness, and you will be at your peak self. Happy hunting!