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what was the most challenging part?

like was it difficult finding a job? or overall what was the hardest part? and what advice do you recommend?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Eleanor’s Answer

It can be tough to land your first "real" job, and you may find yourself applying to hundreds of jobs with no interviews or interviewing and never getting past the first round. So the hardest part, especially for that first job, is the mental resiliency. My advice is to reduce the quantity of your applications and increase the quality. So instead of just blasting your resume out to 372 job listings, find 5 that you really can do. Tailor your resume to those job postings and reach out to those recruiters. Then prepare for your interviews. Do not just sit down and wing it. Lastly, when you face the inevitable rejection, ask for feedback so you can make changes for the future.

Eleanor recommends the following next steps:

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/expert-tips-for-answering-common-interview-questions/salary-negotiation-approach-and-tips?dApp=7752303&u=2190394
https://www.vawizard.org/wiz-pdf/STAR_Method_Interviews.pdf
https://www.linkedin.com/learning/articulating-your-value/an-essential-skill?dApp=7752303&u=2190394
https://www.linkedin.com/learning/how-to-create-a-perfect-elevator-pitch/introduction?dApp=7752303&u=2190394
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Maeve’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Jennifer! Something I HATED doing was trying to network. I was always so nervous to reach out to people and "bother" them. I started by reaching out to friends and family who I felt comfortable talking with, learning about what they do and their career journeys. If I was interested in what they did I would ask if there were other people at their companies who may be interested in talking with me as well. I would get their emails and schedule a call. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I would have expected. You would be surprised how many people are willing to talk about their jobs and how they got there! From there I was able to get a sense of things I would like in a job, and learn about a bunch of different companies. It also helped me make connections, and opened the door for me to ask if people had open positions at their companies.

Don't be afraid to reach out to people and ask for help! Or to make a new connection! It seems scary at first, but so many people have been in your shoes before and are more than happy to help.
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Paul’s Answer

I think it was the rejections. I received an enormous number when I first started looking for employment. But, I did not give up. I continued to look for ways to improve my skills through education and obtaining professional certifications. I continued to volunteer, and received valuable experience from these opportunities. I stuck with it until the employers could no longer ignore the fact that I stood out above the other candidates. So definitely stay with it and find ways to improve your skills and professional credentials.
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Aya’s Answer

I think the challenging part for me was finding something that I was really interested in doing as a job. I didn't want to work just because I had to. Along the way, you'll encounter rejections and other hurdles, but those experiences will build you into a stronger person and you'll learn from them too. Keep an open mind!!
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Renu’s Answer

Hi there! The first and foremost thing that I would recommend is to enjoy each touchpoint of your job search journey. Many years later, when you look back as a successful professional, you may laugh at certain things, regret a few, or feel proud to have lived those moments. Having a positive and constructive perspective will help you succeed, and I think there are a few challenging things job seekers typically ignore. I struggled with it a lot as well. Do not let your emotions stop you from learning from your failures and building on your successes. Loads of best wishes!
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Jennifer, I think for me the most difficult part was finding a job suitable to my needs and interviewing. Because I do not drive, I needed to find a site that I was able to access through public transportation initially until I started to use ride share services. Aside from that, interviewing skills were tough for me because I did not know how to "talk my field." Now, after experience, I feel comfortable in both. I had a learning curve initially but the more you try the more skills you can acquire :). Good luck!
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Daniela’s Answer

You will probably face challenges throughout your career (everyone does), so the advise I would give you is: do something you feel good about, and it will become easier to deal with the challenges. Finding a job can be the first "big step" but it's not the last one. So think about what you want to do first, and focus on pursuing that. You might not get your "ideal" job in the first try, but believe me, it's worth the way if you think about the long-term. Spend some time to reflect what is the career you want to pursue. It's ok to change your mind, but having that self-awareness is the first big step and an important one.
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Krista’s Answer

Use LinkedIn to search for positions, and network with friends, neighbors, teachers, clergy or anyone else who supports you. Align your skills with the right position and tailor your resume or application accordingly. Every single person has skills so highlight what you do best. Finding a job is time-consuming so set aside time every day to submit applications. It will be frustrating, but you will succeed so settle in for the ride. You will find the right job for you. Best of luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

I am glad to hear that you are looking for challenges. It would be boring if the job has no challenges. Different jobs may have different challenges. It really depends on what you are looking for.
E.g. If you are a scientist, you may face challenges on the research that you are doing. If you are a musician, you may have the challenges to impose new song which is different from your previous ones.
Have you identified any careers that you have interest on? You can speak to someone who are working in the industry and find out what challenge they face every day.
Don’t afraid of challenges! It can help you to improve and you will have the sense of achievement after overcoming it.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Jennifer,

There are many challenges that come with applying for jobs. These can be in the form of rejections, spending hours researching jobs, having to customize cover letters of each position, being nervous during interviews etc. For me, the most challenging part was searching for jobs to apply to. There are so many different search engines that contain job postings like Google, LinkedIn, Handshake, etc. That means there are hundreds of job postings for you to read through and figure out whether you are a good fit. It is very time consuming and can feel a bit discouraging when you don't hear back from many of these employers. However, in the end it was worth it as I ended up at a company that I am very proud to work for. I hope that if you face any challenges, you won't give up and remember that it will be worth it when you finally do secure a position.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Jennifer,

The most challenging part for me was sounding confident in interviews. Even though I had accomplished a lot in college as well as positions after that, when looking for a new job and interviewing I just did not convey my accomplishments in a confident manner. If you are not confident in yourself then no one else will be confident in you. Specifically an example I can share is to always say "I did xyz.." instead of "We did this project in this class", etc. When you are talking to a prospective employer, they want to feel that you can do the job without question so the more that you can talk yourself up, the better!
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi jennifer,

I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I didn't apply for anything. I always saw what I didn't know about a job, instead of what I did. If I could tell you anything it's this - if you see a job where you have half the items in the job description that you CAN do, apply. I have learned in life that almost no one meets a job description 100%. Another thing that I have learned is that when you got into some jobs, you can make a job fit you and play to your strengths.

Your challenge is that you need to learn how to read job descriptions to see yourself. I think about some phrases like "good verbal and written communication skills." So how do you see yourself in that phrase? Think about getting good grades on reports, not only in your English class but all of them. Maybe you love to speak in front of your class during presentations or you are an actor. Maybe you enjoy respectful debate. All of these indicate good communication skills. When you read them and don't know what a phrase means, ask someone you know or google the phrase online. Maybe you see "leadership skills." Think about leading groups or clubs. Think about volunteering you have done. Also, if you know two languages, look for jobs that identify that skill will help. So if Spanish is needed, then apply for jobs where a second language is an advantage. Companies don't normally teach you a second language, but they teach you the job where you need to use the language. Be careful of fluency. You need to be very fluent in the second language to get the job.

Lastly, find a way to be passionate about where you want to work. I know some people whose first job was at a business that they loved as a customer.

Gloria
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Angela’s Answer

Hello! I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking to do when I first started the job application and interview process. One thing I highly recommend is really taking the time to think about the position and company and how they align with your goals in both the short and long term. Once you start applying, keep those values and goals in mind! Keep your best interest in mind and don't compromise for something that's important to you. Good luck!
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