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.
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.
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
- Read more about this option at Well Kept Wallet
- Use bank rewards system
- If you’re using money, find out how your bank rewards you
- Find unclaimed money
- 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.