I’ve been on the job hunt for a while now. And I’m still not where I want to be. The feeling that has surfaced most continuously throughout this process has been frustration. With my aimlessless, my lack of a larger goal to work towards, comes a frustration that seethes out of every pore and oft infects my days with vexing irritability. I feel like a knight trying to figure out how to get to a castle with no idea of what the castle looks like, no way to spot it out on the horizon, and thus no way to determine the best path towards it.

Beyond this base level aggravation, one of the most stress-inducing parts of the job hunt has been relaxation. Now you might be thinking, “Isn’t that nonsensical?” Well, yes and no.

Right now, my spare time is when I’m not a) at my first internship, b) at my second internship, c) trying to get to said internships in absurd Los Angeles traffic, d) doing work for one after getting home from the other, e) music blogging, f) working on side projects, or g) planning/thinking about other projects I want to start. And for my sanity, I carve out time for rejuvenation: tv watching, cooking, painting, music making, reading, etc.

And between all of that, I still have to look for a job. Needless to say, how I use my spare time has become very important.

I tried searching for jobs in the morning before work, after dinner after work, and at different times during the weekend. I found that job searching before work conflicts with my ability to go on morning walk/ get the green time necessary for a happy and healthy Nina. After work, I rarely have the zeal to look because I’m both tired from work and too preoccupied with other work still to be done. Looking on weekend evenings made me feel somehow more hopeless (likely because I was home on a Saturday night not with my friends but looking for a job). Finally, I found that the mornings were best because the weekend calm coupled with the balm of soft morning light allowed me to feel most hopeful and energetic in my search.

Dedicating time to the job hunt is not easy, especially when it feels like there is always something more I can do – more of myself I can give – to the commitments already in my life. Everything feels important, but in the end, it just feels that way.

I’m trying to retrain my brain not to take on a thousand projects at one time, but to draw attention to those that both help others out the most and feed me and my growth. I’m trying to learn how to prioritize, to give myself smaller to-do lists that are actually accomplishable, and to not beat myself up if I don’t get everything done that I want because I’m human and we only have so much brain capacity and so much time.

Keywords: I’m trying.


Meet Nina, a recent graduate of a liberal arts college, with many passions, interests, and skills…and no job. We invite you to join her (and commiserate) as she struggles wading through the post-graduate swamp world. A creative at heart, and most likely a mermaid in another life, when she is not at the pool, she can be found writing, reviewing music for The Wild Honey Pie and OurVinyl, making art with her friends, goofing around on Photoshop, cooking, or frolicking amongst foliage while dreaming of how to save the planet from destruction by human hands.