I must have applied to about 150 jobs in the past three weeks. And throughout this process, I sat down and thought about the hundreds of other young adults that are probably in the same exact position as I am.
At the cusp.
That awkward transitional phase, moving from the ‘dependent student’, who knows how to write a thesis statement and separate their whites from their darks, to an independent adult.
It’s a very scary time, and I’ll be honest, I’m going through this transition period for the second time. I promised myself that this time, I would not postpone my maturing into adulthood by getting another degree.
So it started with my first ten applications. I was positive, excited, committed to take the time to tailor my cover letter to each application. My desk was clean, I had a ‘grande, extra hot, non-fat, half-sweet, vanilla late,’ and I had taken a shower.
Then slowly as the process became mundane and repetitive, I changed out of my nice clothes and into my grundgy sweats and sweatshirt. And by the 50th application I had no responses, three different “standard” cover letters, take-out food covering my desk and one very big disappointed heart.
I soon began to notice how my ‘just keep swimming’ attitude was floundering. I then remembered something a dear friend of mine told me once. She was getting ready for a final exam and I noticed how stunning she looked. When I asked her why she was getting ready to go to a test, she told me simply “it made (her) feel good.”
I didn’t understand why then, but now I do. That’s why, I’m going to tell you a few things I think you need to incorporate into your lifestyle, and a few things you must have in your closet, so you always stay positive and feel like the badass that you’re supposed to be.
Discard those sweats and dress the part. After the first hundred job applications, you don’t want to end up looking like a dirty slob. Not only will it make you feel lethargic, but also this feeling will translate in how you convey yourself in cover letters. You won’t care as much and in return employers won’t care as much about you.
So put the alcohol away, wake up at a decent hour, take a shower and dress for the job you want.
Clean, matching, and decent underwear. Think about it. If you were ever in a car accident (God forbid), you want the EMT crew to say;
“Damn…this bitch is super unfortunate…but she has some nice panties on.”
Wearing nice underwear, that’s clean, can boost your overall energy and attitude. Putting your underwear on defines the start of your day, in the same way that submitting an application to a job is the foundation for a new career.
But don’t think that feeling good means wearing only professional clothes. And for that matter, staying indoors the whole time. Sometimes a simple leather jacket can go a long way, as well as a ten minute break every hour. Leather jackets exude a certain level of confidence that people are attracted to. Confidence is something that helps with self-esteem, self- image and most importantly self-worth. But don’t let that confidence come off as arrogance. So wear a leather jacket and own it.
Just like the classic leather jacket, blazers are also a timeless piece that needs to be in your wardrobe. Match your blazer with a t-shirt and jeans, to make a classy and effortless look.
The vibe you give off is what other people will notice first when they see you. It’s also what they will notice when they read what you have to say about yourself. So be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
Lastly, rather than telling you one more thing that you need in your closet, I want to tell you how important it is to manage your anxiety and stress by keeping a clean and calm mind.
Success is a combination of hard work and luck. It doesn’t come from stressing about how much you’ve been doing and not getting rewarded.
Dr. Alistair Dias, psychology professor at the University of Toronto, says keeping a balanced mind starts with taking in deep breaths, and focusing on what you need to release. “Ultimately what happens is that people forget what they’re good at, and they need to remember to focus on remembering what they are good at, especially before going into a job interview,” said Dias. “Meditation can help people stay focused and stay calm.”
So, take a few minutes and meditate. Think about what makes you happy and how you can achieve this happiness always. Don’t sell yourself short and never underestimate your value. Being positive begins with taking a damn shower, dressing well and staying calm.