After some massive blows – the semester’s abrupt end, the cancellation of my summer internship, and the indefinite postponement of study abroad due to the pandemic – there were days when I could barely get out of bed because I just did not have the energy to get any work done. Feeling discouraged was an understatement. But I knew I had to start looking for opportunities again.
I’m sure all of us have been told that networking is super important and one of the most crucial aspects of finding a job. However, as a psychology major, I always thought networking was only needed for students studying business, marketing, or management. I wanted to go to graduate school and get my PhD in psychology, why did I need to reach out to people? What I failed to understand was that networking is about so much more than getting a job in the future, it also gives you access to knowledge from people who already have been through what you’re going through, to insider tips, career advice, and so much more.
One of my favourite movies as a child was Meet the Robinsons, a Disney film about a boy who travels to a place where anything is possible: the future. Now, as a senior in college, I dread thinking of the future and hearing the question What are you doing next year? As much as I try to remember this quote from the movie “keep moving forward”, it’s difficult to even think about doing that, especially when your plans don’t fall through and you have no idea what your next steps should be.
You’ve finally landed that dream internship or received praise from your professor on that project you poured your heart and soul into over the last month when, just as you’re about to celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief, that feeling hits you. You know the one—the feeling that at any minute, someone is going to realize the truth. The truth that you’ve known all along and have just been hoping others wouldn’t find out, that you are aren’t qualified enough, talented enough, experienced enough or whatever enough to deserve the praise or opportunities being showered upon you.
You’ve done everything you’re supposed to. You worked hard in all your classes, embraced challenge after challenge (after challenge…) and consistently sought out opportunities for growth in the form of internships, jobs, and volunteer work. By now, your inbox should be filled with invitations for interviews and hiring managers should be tripping over themselves trying to get you to work for them, right? Well, not exactly.