Did you just graduate and still haven’t heard back from your interview? Is your savings account getting smaller by the second? Do you have a deadline to get a job?

Well congratulations.

Think about this. You have received a wonderful opportunity to see what kind of person you really are. How are you assessing the situation? Are you currently on summer vacation or have you done something about your job situation? If you have done something, what?

I recently read an article in the New York Times about how “The American Dream is Elusive for a New Generation.” I hear of so many stories of Millennials struggling to find a job. Some say there is no availability. Some say they can only land internships. Some cop-out on the fact that it is a rough economy.

I have a message to all those who are struggling: do something about it. This is a time where people are truly being tested. This means you should acknowledge the fact that it most likely won’t be easy. You should understand that. Understand that the situation lends itself to create doubt in yourself and ability. Being aware of the situational pressure will allow you to take some pressure off of your mental psyche.

Two mice fell into a vat of milk. The first mouse gave up a drowned. Be the second mouse and make butter and walk out.

The current job situation is analogous to any difficult class you had in college. There is most likely going to be a bell curve that outlines who gets the jobs and who sits at home. Assess your situation with that in mind; the talented are going to land a job. If you can justify to yourself that you are top talent, then you can use that explanation in an interview and get the job; because you really are as good as you think you are.

During any difficult times there are always going to be two things that get you through it.

1. Be Rational.

Do not play into the emotions of the situation. Make plans for all the scenarios that fly around in your head. Be practical and tactical in your job hunting; don’t hope to get lucky or wish someone would give you a chance. Be the keystone to opportunity by connecting yourself to the people and places that will work for you. Talk out situations and ideas with people around you; understanding your support network and being able to feel its presence is always a boost to anyone’s confidence. 

2. Work Hard.

I am under the belief that hard work does pay off. Set goals that you would like to achieve and figure out what needs to be done to achieve them. Get these ideas on paper. It is much easier to focus on the tasks you have at hand if you do not have these plans and concerns playing in the background of your brain. If you dedicate yourself and believe in your true ability, things will work for you. Don’t hesitate to jump on opportunities.

Note: Because you are working hard, make time to take breaks and relax. Understand that your hard work has earned you time to step away from the job search. This will leave you refreshed and open your mind to different perspectives. It may also remind you of things that got buried under the job search, like laughing and family.

So I say to you, congratulations on understanding the opportunity that rests before you. Challenges are what make us stronger as they give us experience and perspective. Learn from your journey. Carpe diem. And be resilient. Because those attributes will do more than set you up for your first job; they will set you up for life.

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