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Career Searching in a Pandemic

Job searching during normal circumstances is hard enough for a recent graduate. Now try job searching in a global pandemic. Let me tell you, it’s not fun at all. It was all quite stressful and disappointing. After emailing company after company and not hearing back, it got pretty old. I was tired of trying and I felt selfish for asking companies to hire me when I knew people were getting laid off every day. I didn’t feel like I deserved a job over anyone else.

While I could blame COVID-19 for my job-hunting frustrations, it still was quite unsettling to not have a plan. I tried to enjoy my last “summer break”, but the thought of finding a job lingered over my head every day. Quarantining with no routine got old and living at home with my parents was not aligning with the plan I had for myself before graduating. Every day brought new challenges: deciding what companies I should look up and contact, questioning whether or not someone would ever email me back, and simply just trying to stay motivated to keep trying.

Finally, one day I couldn’t take the monotony anymore. I felt worthless sitting at home all day with nothing to do. I went to dinner with one of my best friends and proposed we start a business. We both loved to bake and I felt my creative juices flowing. I proposed we start a sugar cookie business. At first, she looked at me like I was crazy, but then she started to play along. The seed I planted grew over the next week and we began thinking of first steps.

What started as a joke was becoming real. Within the next week, we had come up with a name, designed a logo, and created an Instagram account. From there, we had to see if we were even good at making cookies. The first time we attempted, we were not so sure this was our niche. However, we kept trying and there was progress. After reading tons of articles and watching countless videos, we knew we could do it. With almost nothing else to do during a pandemic, we spent our days practicing and honing our icing skills, an essential skill for cookie success.

After weeks of not hearing back from businesses, I finally received an interview for an internship. I was excited and nervous. While I never thought Cookie Babes would help me in an interview, it surprisingly gave me a talking point. My cookie business allowed me to show initiative to the people interviewing me, and they could see I was a determined, self-starter, and willing to get creative when times were tough. With the help of Cookie Babes, we turned our boring, quarantine days into productive, rewarding times. And, I landed an internship, a paid one at that!

When looking for a job during a pandemic, especially as a recent grad, here are few cookies of advice.

  1. Always be yourself, and be confident in your qualifications (even when it gets hard).

  2. Don’t let this process get to you and keep moving forward. It’s a hard time for everyone right now, and as long as you are trying, then you are on the right path.

  3. In the meantime, focus on the skills you have and make something of them. It is the best way to show initiative and drive in interviews. And you might just find out you are good at making cookies!

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