Career Fairs: Searching for a Job or a Soul Mate?

Good morning, my beautiful rainbow humans. I hope you’re enjoying this fine month of February and ready for spring to begin!

Speaking of springtime, I graduate college in May (dang, that doesn’t seem real when I write it out…), and as former college graduates know, with graduation on the horizon comes a season of applications and job hunting. I guess you could say my job hunting season has officially begun, because I spent my Friday morning last week at a job fair hosted by my school.

Friday was my first experience with job fairs, and man, was it an experience.

Seniors are allowed to enter the job fair when doors open at 9am, so naturally I arrived at 8:30. I parked in the giant parking lot of the Convention Center, touched up my lipstick, put my game face on, and made my way through the humidity to the doors. Turns out I was not the only senior who wanted a good spot in line, seeing as though there were at least 40 people already in line.

I filled in line behind my fellow anxious seniors, all of them with their worried, tired eyes, flipping through their portfolio one last time, wondering “is my work even good??”

Not gonna lie, that was me, too. I stood in line, probably sweating, because when am I not sweating, trying to stay cool, calm, and collected, but in reality feeling like this scene in Confessions of a Shopaholic:

sample-sale

After waiting in line for what felt like an eternity, the doors finally opened, letting us take a chance at our career fate. The room was muggy, filled with countless booths with a variety of companies. I looked around, as my fellow peers aggressively made their way to a select booth, resume flying out of their hands.

Navigating a career fair is such an odd experience. It’s almost as if you are auditioning. You have to look, speak, and be the person they want to hire. You have to force yourself to smile more and be overly charming and charismatic. You meet these complete strangers and have to pretend like you are already work bffs with them. You desperately search for some sort of connection, some sort of sign to prove that maybe you’re different than the hundreds of other cute, trendy, talented artists they met within that exact hour in the exact booth.

Hunting for a job in a career fair is like searching for a soul mate at a speed dating night. It’s awkward, you’re nervous, and quite frankly, you’d rather be eating pasta in bed watching The Office and have the perfect match message you. But, unfortunately, that does not happen, in the dating world or the job hunting world. You’re forced to put on your big girl pants, smack some matte lipstick on, and pretend not to care about the pressure of what is actually taking place.

All in all, the career fair was pretty successful for me. I had some good conversations, got some contacts, and left with a couple solid job leads. Who’s to say if that day will lead to anything beneficial (other than giving me blog content, which hey, is a success in itself), but at least I can now feel like I’m doing something proactive regarding my future after graduation.

Stay tuned for more career/life updates**

 

 

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