Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Invisible Pressures for Seniors

This post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Shun Ping Huang ’17. 

Many of my fellow senior friends have been coming to me and voicing their worries about not being able to find a job…and it’s only early October. While I try my best to calm their fears, I am also breaking a little under all of these Invisible Pressures.

“Invisible Pressures” is a term I use to define those goals that exists in the back of everyone’s mind, but are defined differently for each person. These goals result from social pressures, high expectations of yourself, or other invisible expectations that may not be said out loud. These are definitely real struggles that add additional stress to the job search process, but in this blog, I will try my best to explain how I manage these invisible pressures.

It is an unsaid rule among seniors that the earlier you get a job, the “better” it is. There could be many reasons as to why we think this:

  • Competition: many feel that as positions fill up, there will be fewer “good” positions available. This is not true at all. Different companies and industries have different recruiting timelines. A fit for another student might not be a fit for you.
  • Senior Year: seniors want to relax and truly “enjoy” their senior year without the overwhelming pressure of finding a full time job.
  • Holidays: going home to face family, extended family, and friends at the dinner table asking whether you’ve found a job yet.
  • “Prestigious” Job Offer: everyone has a different definition of prestigious, but don’t let society or your family/friends define prestigious because they will not be the one doing the job for 40+ hours a week. You should think about your definition of prestigious; think about what you enjoy and what will make you happy. Stick to your values!

There are no solutions to these Invisible Pressures, however, you can manage them:

Step 1: Identify your Invisible Pressures.
Step 2: Try to understand where these pressures are coming from. Understanding them will help you determine whether they actually matter and how to plan next steps of actions.
Step 3: Talk to someone about them. Come see a career advisor who can direct resources and give you further advice.
Step 4: Don’t let these pressures consume you. Focus on your goal: being happy with whatever you decide to do after graduation.

One of my Invisible Pressures is to find a stable job near home that will allow me to support my parents. As a first generation student who will be the first to have a traditional job, I am afraid to disappoint myself and my family. I want to show that my parent’s sacrafice was worth it.

Everyone has their own Invisible Pressures, whether it’s about the job search or not. It’s normal to stress and feel depressed about our Invisible Pressures, but keep in mind that there are still seven months before we graduate. Remember that you do not have to please anyone else, but yourself. A quote that always gives me hope: “What’s supposed to happen will happen when it’s suppose to.” Be patient and ready to seize an opportunity.