Persevering in Your Job (or Internship) Search

Let us start with a basic fact about job searching: it is hard. The feeling of being under-qualified or too inexperienced for most positions out there is something that nearly everyone has felt at some point in their careers. As a college sophomore, this problem is something that I personally have had to go through this semester. Most internship positions out there want more experience than I have, or at least a junior student who might be able to commit to a full-time position after a summer internship. There are not many positions out there that would accept students at my current level.2014-06-22 11.26.12

Let us start with a basic fact about job searching: it is hard. The feeling of being under-qualified or too inexperienced for most positions out there is something that nearly everyone has felt at some point in their careers. As a college sophomore, this problem is something that I personally have had to go through this semester. Most internship positions out there want more experience than I have, or at least a junior student who might be able to commit to a full-time position after a summer internship. There are not many positions out there that would accept students at my current level.

While many of you likely are not in a situation exactly like mine, everyone will have been, or will be, in a position in their lifetime where they feel like getting the job they want is impossible. In recent years especially, the market for jobs has not been great, and new positions are few and far between. That moment when everything seems too hard is the exact time that perseverance can make the difference between landing a job and being unemployed.

One good way to think about job searching is to associate it with your actuarial studies, as they relate in a couple of ways. First, if you do not put in the time, you are not going to accomplish what you want to. This is an obvious one regarding actuarial exams; if you do not stick to your study schedule and put in the time necessary for learning the material, you will be unprepared when it gets to exam time. In the same way, not putting enough time into your job search is a bad idea. Often times I have spent hours searching online for possible positions only to find an applicable job post right before I was going to stop.

Also, like actuarial studies, job searching takes time to truly understand what you are doing. This may seem obvious, but often first time job seekers go about looking for jobs and internships in completely the wrong way. I am certainly no expert on how to find a job, but what I can say that has helped me is to use the resources around you. If you are at college, take advantage of your college’s career center. If you have already graduated and are looking for a job, often times your college’s career center will still be willing to help you out as you are an alum.

When it comes down to it, my best advice is this: do not give up. For those of you who are searching for full time jobs, you may not have the option of giving up due to your bills. But for many college students seeking internships, giving up after a few rejections is something I have seen before. Even now in mid-March, there are companies that are seeking college students for summer employment. Do not miss out on a good opportunity because of discouragement – persevere!