Question of the Week # 9: “How do I manage looking for a job and writing my thesis?”

“How do I manage looking for a job and writing my thesis?”  – Mary Adeogun ‘13

If you are a senior like me, you have a lot on your plate right now! Between classes, finishing your thesis, and staying involved in extracurriculars, it’s hard to find time for something really important to most seniors… the JOB SEARCH. There’s a lot that you have to do and not a lot of time to actually do it.  Though this time of the year can be especially busy, it is important to try to keep a balance and prioritize. Your job search is similar to any other endeavor in that your results will be directly proportionate to the amount of time and effort you expend. Don’t forget to leave time each week for your job search tasks.  Here are some easy tips to manage your time efficiently.

  1. Make your breaks worthwhile. It’s not reasonable to think that you can write for 24 hours straight (and it’s not good on your eyes).  Typing activityWrite in one hour chunks and thentake a break. Trust me, you’ll be more productive if you set realistic goals. Make your breaks something that you can look forward to. Maybe one of your breaks can be looking up jobs using social media networks. Create a daily schedule of breaks and make sure to include at least 2-3 (20-minute) blocks of time that you dedicate to looking for jobs. If you want it to happen, and you plan for it, it will!  Set alarms on your phone to remind you when these breaks will happen.
  2. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor.   Arrange some time to get away from academic work. Career counselors are here to help you. Maybe you need someone to vent to about your job search worries? Maybe you need someone to help refine your job search strategies? Take this time to get completely away from your thesis for thirty minutes. The Career Services office is pretty relaxing (it’s definitely better than being stuck in your dungeon-like carrel) and provides a change of scenery for thesis-stressed minds. You will also feel good about making the time to do something for yourself and focusing on life after Princeton.
  3. Set up Search Agents & Subscribe to Industry Newsletters.  You might be too busy to comb websites daily for the latest openings. Aggregating content is a great way to save time.  Make sure your TigerTracks profile is up to date based on your current interests (these may have evolved over the four years since your profile was created). You will receive emails as opportunities in your field of interest are posted. In addition, you can usually set up job search agents on company sites or other job boards. You can set up how frequent you want alerts. Another useful tip is to subscribe to industry newsletters. As someone who is interested in media and communications, I subscribe to the Mediabistro daily newsletter.  I like to set aside some time each day to read through my emails and check out what’s happening in the industry. This is a great way to keep up-to-date and save time while doing so. Because you are so busy right now, let the information come to you!
  4. Listen to Career Talks Online While Writing.  You might be the type of person who likes to listen to music while writing. While this is great for focusing, why not change around what’s coming into your sensory pathways? The Internet is filled with career-focused webinars, career advice videos, and professional testimonials that are available for free. Instead of opening iTunes, try listening to an inspirational career talk.  Not only will you be writing your thesis but you will also be gaining useful career information and advice.bigstockphoto_Graduation__1766172
  5. Relax. One of the best things you can do during this time period is to just relax! You will be able to get everything done—from your thesis to your job search. The latter may take a little time, but just remember to keep positive through everything. Graduation is right around the corner!