Don't Let Stress Kill the Beginning of Your Career

The anxiety one gets when faced with their final year of college is probably equal to the force of an elephant crushing a banana under its foot. You have those deadlines to meet, those cover letters to write, that networking to do. That last day you may ever spend in school, EVER, before surrendering your summers to a full time job.

It's a lot to absorb, isn't it? Curse those who have that comforting sense of luck, because you can't grasp it!

All the stress shouldn't get in the way of your journey, however. On the way to beginning your career, you have to sidestep your fears and remain focused.

Take it from me. I'm just starting my senior year of college, looking at the ever-approaching cliff and thinking to myself that I will have to take that jump whether I like it or not. Believe you me - it's terrifying, and I'm not even halfway there yet!

Here are five stress-inducing blockades that you need to keep fighting as the finish line gets closer... and the next race begins.

1. There is no cure-all advice. 

Nope, not in any book or video or from any mentor. Nothing will erase your stress completely. You're in for a world of pain. But, it will help to listen to what others went through, and how they rose from the proverbial ashes. Like Will Terrell says, there is something to learn from everyone you meet. Now imagine how many things you will learn while trying to satisfy your curiosity.

2. Be realistic, but don't dismantle your soul.

A good quote by Elbert Hubbard that I feel sums this up is, "Work to become, not to acquire.” For more great pick-me-up quotes about careers, read Barrie Davenport's post.

I don't enjoy when others point out that I have set my standards too high, especially when they are close to me. I have spent three plus years of my life training hard for something, and darn if I don't accomplish what I set out to do in the first place, right? But, I also won't enjoy when the rest of the world proves that those people were right, over and over and over again until my life is sucked dry of all hope. Which battle would you rather choose, hm?

3. DON'T compare yourself to others. 

You will be bloody miserable and sink further into your lonely corner of self-hate. Are emails rolling in for so-and-so, but not for you? Did your friend land that job interview - or two, or three? Do not fret, or you will indeed find unwelcome grey hairs in your brush. Though it pains me to use this phrase because I hate it... it is what it is. Ugh, there. I said it. Still hate it.

4. Everyone is a person. 

From the wee freshman studying on Friday nights to the CEO of the company you're trying to break into, we all breathe the same air. When you go for those interviews, keep that at the back of your mind. You deserve just as much respect as the guy sitting across from you. Anyone with the experience to back them up should tell you the same, or, chances are they're just a pretty rotten person.

5. Don't take anyone's crap. 

You may be starting out, but that doesn't mean you should let yourself be stepped on. Donating your time for experience in a company that doesn't thank/appreciate you for all of your extra work? Aw hell no. Spend what little time you have with people who actually give a damn, or you will regret it in the end.


We all know what the stresses are for a new professional. So what are some ways you deal with this stress? Share in the comments.