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6 Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Dream Job

Written by Raven Wilkinson

Photo by Ben Weber

Job hunting is hard! Whether you finished your degree or are looking for the perfect summer internship, finding the ideal position can take longer than expected. I mean, MUCH longer. Even if you think you have the skills and experience required, you may be met with rejection—I speak from personal experience.

As someone who is nearly done their master’s degree, I’ve been looking to secure a job for a couple of months. But I’ve had no luck yet. I’m sure there are a ton of you on the same boat, so let me start by saying, you’re not alone!

While you wait to hear back from that perfect job (and deal with rejection), you can always do some of these:

Try Your Hand At A Freelance Job

freelance job

Whether you’re a compelling writer, know the secrets to grow an Instagram following, or can crunch numbers like nobody’s business—freelance and contract positions are out there! Start-ups and growing companies often need help with a variety of short-term tasks and projects. Not to mention, they are willing to pay for assistance. This is great for you because you earn good money between full-time gigs, and getting involved can be just what you need to prove your capabilities and hone your craft.  

Catch Up On Reading

icarly, these things are great!

…or anything really. Student life is stressful and time-consuming. It may have caused you to put some of your best hobbies on the backburner. While you’re waiting for responses from prospective employers, read the book you’ve been waiting to get your hands on, work on that mix, or start that collection—fashion, vinyl, rocks, whatever, I don’t judge! The point is, this time allows you to do something you enjoy without feeling guilty about it.

Learn A New Skill

kardashians, this could be your new hobby

Similar to the previous tip, this is the perfect time to learn a new skill! For example, I’m in love with jewelry and am looking to take a jewelry making class. Brush up on a skill needed for your field of interest or register for something completely unrelated. Who knows? You may uncover a secret passion or potential side hustle (but no pressure with the side hustle stuff).

Embrace Your Time Off

eating yummy foods

Every waking moment does not have to be filled with job hunting and/or staring at your email waiting for a response. Instead, why not embrace the time you have? Once you’re locked into a full-time contract, you may only have a couple of weeks of vacation time per year. When you think about it that way, a month or two of a little relaxation doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Take a vacation, go on a weekend trip, or treat yourself to a pamper session. Enjoy your time off where you can try, see, and (hopefully) eat new things. Therefore, once you get that amazing job, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to climb that career ladder.

Keep Applying

checking classified ads

You don’t want to spend all your time applying to jobs, but I do recommend keeping an eye on those job boards. You never know when a new prospect will come up! I love Indeed because it provides me with recommended jobs, as well as postings since I last logged in. LinkedIn is also a great tool because the platform already has a really good idea of your skills and qualifications. It also shows you how you measure up against the skills listed by the employer. Limit your job board visit to once or twice a day or even twice a week. When you do apply, make those cover letters SING.

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

love yourself

Last, but not least, don’t be so hard on yourself! Hunting for that dream job is a struggle, especially when you have no idea how many people apply and what the employer is actually looking for. Additionally, sometimes you have to wait up to two months to hear back. It’s not ideal, but it’s also nothing personal.

Don’t give up and don’t settle. Refrain from putting pressure on yourself, especially if you’re seeing the process work out much quicker for friends and acquaintances. You know what you want and what you’re capable of. Someone (probably a few people) are going to see that. GOOD LUCK!!!

Still haven’t heard back from prospective employers? What are your tips for the waiting game?

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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.