Make appreciation go viral

Neha Seenarine, Associate Arts & Life Editor

Illustration by (Connor Lawless)

If you want to land the job of your dreams, becoming the envy of your peers is not the way to go.

When a college classmate I haven’t seen since freshman year reaches their goal, it’s refreshing. It’s nice to know that endless school projects lead somewhere. That’s the other thing, we take the same classes, complete the same coursework and join similar organizations — what am I doing wrong? Nothing.

Every now and then, I open social media and see someone in my network accepting a job opportunity. The post responses are filled with “Congratulations” or “Well deserved.” And they’re absolutely right, the person is well-deserving of getting the job they worked hard for.

The key is to have drive. Opportunities are not handed out, they are earned. It is vital to apply yourself in all aspects to achieve your goal. However, just because someone accomplishes what they want before you does not mean you should be discouraged. There might be a feeling of jealousy, wondering why others are living your dream, but the professional path is different for everyone. Everything that is meant for you will come to you. At least, that’s what I like to believe.

The job market seems to be an exclusive club that you can’t automatically gain access to. On the job site ZipRecruiter, entry-level jobs postings filled by college graduates declined 73% including internship opportunities from March 2020, according to an article from The Atlantic. As a journalism major, I have made peace with the slim chances of writing for Cosmopolitan fresh out of college.

I have accepted internship opportunities in the past and have learned valuable skills I can apply to a future job. There also have been times where I had to reconsider positions because it was not the best fit for me in my career. I actively apply for jobs and find myself in constant distress wondering if a recruiter will reach out to me. When a peer breaks through the resume and interview phases, it’s important to root for them rather than be jealous of them.

Illustration by (Peyton McKenzie)

The support is not limited to professional careers. I often see my peers starting small businesses, whether it is selling baked goods or creating embroidered sweatshirts. It does not hurt to support their business by making a small purchase or resharing their Instagram posts on your story. It is vital to pay full price even if it is your best friend’s roommate’s business. They need to profit somehow, and a 15% discount might hurt them starting out. You never know the impact you might leave someone with giving them their first order.

Supporting your peers is so much more than leaving a comment on their LinkedIn job update. It can be as simple as liking a tweet. Students spend countless hours on projects to put in a portfolio. When they share it on social media, it is nice to acknowledge their hard work. I’m not saying you have to make their work go viral, sharing it far and wide across the internet, but the supportive sentiment is appreciated. When I’m recognized for my time and effort, I feel encouraged to keep pursuing the right path.

People may change their career paths, and that’s completely OK. My backup career choices are a cruise director or somehow becoming a briefcase girl on “Deal or No Deal.”

The people around you are in the same boat even though they may have different ambitions and paths. We need to remember we’re striving for the same end goal here, to be successful yet happy with the career of our choice.