Self-care While Job Searching

If your Masters Program gave you the option between 2 year and 3 year completion, what would you choose? With tremendous joy and fear, I chose the 2 year journey and graduated in 2021. Questions on my mind: How would I get a job in the middle of a precarious global health crisis? How would I keep my sanity?

There are several components to self-care, and I struggle with financial self-care. I do all the logistics like tracking expenses, but my relationship with money is strained. A goal in life has been to never become attached to money; I learned this from the stress it caused when my parents were together. Yet, while disassociating with money, I planned very little. When I graduated, I knew I needed to be held financially. I learned to seek support and resources.

Seeking Support

I sign up to newsletters often (unsubscribing occasionally to declutter). In one newsletter, I read about a series of workshops on finances and stress. One email led me to the Rise Up Project, where professionals coach job seekers to continue their career ambitions. I signed up, tentatively excited. At that point, late June, I had applied to nearly 40 job postings, interviewed with 3 employers, and been sent the occasional rejection email. I wondered if the program would make a difference.

Over a month later–about 10 intentional job applications later, I am grateful to have joined because I entered an energizing space during a draining season. I received live feedback on my resume, opportunity pitch, and LinkedIn profile. I’ve heard “transferrable skills” before, but at Rise Up, I understood that transfer is closer to translation: making it clear to an employer that where I may lack, I have an abundance applicable of experience.

Reframing my experience encouraged me to continue with job applications with a new energy, to convince hiring committees I was more than prepared for the role.

Seeking Resources

Resources can come in the form of a program, an event, or a person. Below are job resources you may find helpful:

Brainfuse JobNow: Live, virtual help through your local library or school

Glassdoor: Reviews, salary, and interview info for most companies

Goodwill Community Foundation: Free training courses for various needs

Inclusv: Job board for POC job seekers in politics and organizing

JobScan: Tool to scan resume for alignment with job posting

JobSeer: Resume and job match Chrome extension

LinkedIn: interview feedback from a machine

ResyMatch: Tools: Scan resume with job posting; resume bullet analyzer

College Alumni Resources: Check out your college for job boards, professional events, and more

Local Resources: There are state-specific job boards and programs.

  • In Virginia, job seekers have access to LinkedIn Learning. Workforce development is offered through Britepaths, Annandale Career Works Center, and Fairfax Department of Family Services.
  • The DC Public Library offers access to Brainfuse. DC also has career workshops and training through the American Job Center.
  • In Maryland, the TOGETHER Program offers finance & stress workshops for couples.

Earn Short-term Money

Before graduation, I saved as much as my income as possible, and searched for financial support from school. I was fortune enough that my mother was returning to work, after months without a full-time job, so I wasn’t alone with the rent.

Savings are helpful, and yet, expenses continue. Below are some opportunities to earn money in the short-term:

  • Convert loose change to money through Coinstar or at a bank
  • Use bank rewards system
    • If you’re using money, find out how your bank rewards you
  • Find unclaimed money
    • You purchase items, and sometimes companies owe you a refund. Take some time complete a form and gather info for Class Actions. You may also find money that didn’t reach you according to your state.
  • Join or host a yard sale
    • Research large yard sales near you or use your patch of grass
  • Help your neighbors
    • Pet and child care are common needs
    • NextDoor and Facebook groups are helpful to find opportunities near your

Good luck trying these resources and suggestions! Leave a comment if you have any tips.

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