The Job Hunt
The reality after graduating a coding bootcamp.
I know I’ve mentioned the feelings that come up around life after a coding bootcamp but in this blog post, we’ll be going more in-depth.
A Balancing Act
It’s now been 5 months since graduating from my coding bootcamp and I will say I feel a little burnt out. I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to do with writing the blog posts every week, networking on LinkedIn, trying to stay creative with building out new projects. However, at the same time, I feel like I have so much time on my hands or that I should be doing more.
It’s weird because I feel like I’m constantly trying to balance applying for jobs, studying, writing blog posts, networking, and trying to give myself a proper break in between. However, somehow, I still feel so tired. I feel exhausted from applying to over 200 jobs now and getting mostly rejections. I’ve tried to stay positive about it all but after rejection, upon rejection, you begin to doubt yourself. I can see myself steering away from applying for software engineering positions because I just feel like I’m simply not good enough. I waiver between the feelings of motivation and hope to mental exhaustion and self-doubt. I can really see it playing a toll on my mental health and it makes me procrastinate because I see myself trying to avoid those negative feelings by not doing any of the work I need to do. However, when I don’t do the work I need to do, it feeds my anxiety. It’s like I can’t get away. The only way I can really overcome these feelings day-to-day is to accept them.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Happiness
One of my tasks is to network with at least 8 people per week. My main resource for connections, as I imagine with most people, is through LinkedIn. Now people view LinkedIn as a professional social media platform that allows you to network and keeps up with your connections and their achievements. However, the untold story of LinkedIn is that it corrupts your happiness (at least for me). It is a platform that, whether you do it consciously or not, makes you want to compare your achievements versus others. Especially as a job hunter, I’m on LinkedIn multiple times a day and it can get really overwhelming and discouraging to see everyone doing things in their lives and achieving their goals while you’re just sitting there. The first couple of months and especially now, I find myself scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, and sometimes it's encouraging but most time it is so discouraging because I feel like I’m stuck in this burnt-out phase while others are just thriving. Now I’m not saying that I am not happy for others who are seeing their hard work pay off but it can definitely be discouraging, especially for job hunters looking for their first entry-level job. Accepting my feelings and what makes me feel a certain way is the first step I take to overcome the negativity I feel towards job hunting.
Acknowledging and accepting the negative feelings I have surrounding the whole job-hunting process allows me to address them. By understanding that I am feeling bad about myself when I do a particular thing allows me to avoid doing that particular thing for an extended amount of time. So for instance, scrolling through my LinkedIn feed makes me compare my achievements with others. In order to address and combat these feelings, I only allow myself to scroll once a day for about maybe 5 minutes or less. This allows me to still keep up with my connections but not long enough to get into a black hole.
I need to break out of the mindset of needing to have x amount of achievements at my age or this far into post-graduation. The thing that really keeps me grounded is understanding that we are all on our own journey. Whether we get the job now or get the job later, we are working towards bettering ourselves and making ourselves happy in this new career path. We need to celebrate any achievement we have big or small so it will encourage us to keep going.
The thing about job hunting is that it is truly a numbers game so in order to keep going until we finally get the job is to have the mental endurance to keep going. We always need to remind ourselves how hard we’ve worked to get to where we are now and this is only a small obstacle that we have to overcome. We are so close and it may seem like a long time but when you finally get your dream job, it’ll all be worth it! Happy coding everyone and make sure to keep in touch with yourself throughout the journey. Good luck!