On the Hunt Faux Pas #1: Everything and Anything

At first, my job hunt was tailored to specific expectations and standards based on my education, experiences, and interests. It was then narrowed further by my geographical preference. While I was aware that I was limiting my search, I did not fully understand the challenges that I would soon face. With the intention and hope to work close to home to help my parents for the first few years after graduation, I was determined to make it work. However, I soon came to realize that my interests had a geographical preference of its own and it was not near home.

However, I soon came to realize that my interests had a geographical preference of its own and it was not near home. This was a hard pill to swallow… on one hand, I was happy to be with my family but on the other hand, I was struggling to find opportunities that aligned with my interests. Sadly, this realization made me feel guilty for being home…

The bitterness of this realization sent my mind into a frenzy as I began to apply for anything and everything in order to make it work. I was applying for positions that I was overqualified for, underpaid, and even had no interest in. I was trying to hide my guilt by burrowing it in a heaping mess of applications just so I could convince myself that my unemployment status would be remedied soon. While I felt relieved that my resume was finally being noticed and that a stream of interview offers followed, it was quickly replaced by another wave of guilt. Guilt that I had compromised myself by convincing myself that passion was overrated. By applying for everything and anything, I started to lose my way. I was so fixated on getting a job that I was willing to put aside my passion, my hard work, and my self-worth.

The reality that I was chasing after opportunities because of desperation rather than passion was another hard pill to swallow. In a way, I feel ashamed for getting myself so caught up in the process… It took me a couple of months to stop myself and to take the time to reassess what my priorities and goals. I took a few days to be offline, away from my laptop, away from job postings, and away from my emails to restart my job hunt process.

Now I have a list of expectations and goals for my next career written down to remind me of my interests, my qualifications, and my self-worth. It also includes a list of organizations or companies to keep an eye on. This has helped re-focused my job hunt to be … purposeful.  I can feel the difference that this has made in my cover letters and interviews as I can easily speak to my interests and passion. While I do still wish to work close to home, I know now that it is not worth compromising myself and my passion.

Having widened my job search radius further, I am excited for the greater range and diversity of opportunities to apply for. Yet, in the meantime, I am happy to spend the time I have now to be with my family.

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