When the pandemic happened and we started working from home, I realized that just because I might not have other plans at 10 pm doesn’t mean I need to be responding to emails and working on projects all night. We’re all dealing with fear, loss, and anxiety during this pandemic, and there are some days when you just can’t bring yourself to perform at your job to your fullest potential. That’s okay. I learned to prioritize my own mental health and my life outside of work by taking walks without my phone, turning off Slack notifications at a certain hour each night, and not putting so much pressure on myself to answer every email immediately. It’s something I’m still working on, but it’s helping me appreciate that my job doesn’t need to be my whole life.
Eugene Shevertalov, Entertainment Editor
Getting a job is largely about networking and who you know. If you don’t know anyone, start reaching out. Email friends and family, ask who they know. Get on LinkedIn and start messaging people you might have a connection with, alumni of your school, friends of friends of friends, professors, etc. Send out cold emails to those that work in the industry and companies you’d like to work with. You might send 100 emails and get one response but all it takes is one person sitting down with you or simply forwarding your resume to the right person. You might feel like you’re being a bother, and some people might take it as such, but you have no idea how many people out there will respect your initiative and be willing to help. I have gotten more than one job because I messaged someone on LinkedIn that used to work at the company I was interested in or a friend passed on my resume to the right person.
Kelsey Borovinsky, Senior Data Analyst
Nothing feels more vulnerable than putting all your hard work and successes onto a piece of paper to be scrutinized, so it is difficult to not take it personally when you continue to apply and cannot seem to get any nibbles. After a few weeks of radio silence, it may be time to go back to the drawing board and have someone who loves you, but not too much that they can’t give you constructive feedback, really look at your resume. The fresh set of eyes can be so illuminating to issues with formatting or clarity. Sometimes their point of view can just provide a confidence boost to really punch that document up because you are great and successful!
Asia Milia Ware, Editorial Assistant
Don’t compare your friend’s career path to your own. Your journey is just that, yours! The thief of joy is comparison and the last thing you want to do while entering the workforce is be living in a state of comparison. Start off doing the more menial things at work and you’ll come out on top. Just put your head down, don’t compare, and most importantly never be too good for anything. Those menial tasks will pay off.
Bianca Nieves, Commerce Editor
Now that everything is so uncertain, let’s normalize non-linear career paths. Who knows where you’re going to end up or how the world is going to end up before you get there! So, treat every job as a learning experience and they’ll somehow connect — I can vouch for that. I did sooo many odd freelance jobs when I graduated college and landed in New York City but each and every one of them was connected. Even the interviews to the jobs I didn’t end up getting turned out to be beneficial in the long run
Chantal Waldholz, Director of Audience Development and Analytics
It’s okay to not know what you want to do. The workplace is evolving constantly that what you may want to do today will be different a week, month, year, etc. later from then. Take me for example: I went to school to be a celebrity journalist. Fast forward 13 years later and I work in audience development (a position that didn’t even exist when I was in college). Make connections with different people in different industries. If a job offer comes your way, make sure you do your company research and make sure it’s a healthy, supportive, and empowering environment.
Shireen Mohyi, Senior Digital Line Editor
Forget about the timeline you made up in your head. Especially now, with the world upside down, you can’t expect to accomplish every single thing as you originally planned it. Have your goals, keep working towards them, and in time they will come. (Huge cliché, but it’s true!) Just because someone your age seems to be steps ahead of you professionally doesn’t mean you yourself are failing or “behind” in any way.
Brittney McNamara, Identity Editor
The best career advice I’ve gotten is that you have to do the work. There’s no magic way to ascend to the top of your field, and even if there is it’s likely fleeting. Building a strong body of work speaks for itself.
Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Sarah Jaffe, Author of Work Won’t Love You Back, on Labor and Exploitation
Stay up-to-date with the politics team. Sign up for the Teen Vogue Take!