Young, Broke, and Looking for Work? Don’t Freak Out!

Tips for when you’re new to the world and times are tough

Jumping into life can be scary…

The month I graduated college, I moved to New York City for a position I thought was a unicorn job… less than two months later, I was promptly fired from aforementioned job and found myself stranded in NYC with no job, few friends, and an expensive apartment in Brooklyn I didn’t like. I felt totally defeated, frustrated with my chosen industry, and stupid for moving to a new city so quickly and with no backup plan.

So what did I do?

For those of you reading this who are currently in a funk the way I was, below are my suggestions for handling this time in your life.

Practice positive affirmations and believe in yourself

This is so true — you have to, have to, have to believe in yourself and love who you are in order to succeed. There is only so much validation a person can receive from outside themselves — at some point, your “luck in life” is truly dependent on your inner, powerful spirit. You can create a positive affirmation mantra, like this one from the incomparable RuPaul: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Get your body moving to calm your negative thoughts

Find a cheap-to-free yoga studio near you — odds are, if you live in a major city, Google will be able to tell you where to go. You can also practice in the park or even in your apartment if you have the space. Let your yoga practice — or barre, or pilates, or gym, or whatever it may be — wake up your body, induce endorphin release and calm your inner mind.

Communicate with friends + family

Now is not the time to become a hermit! Remember: your friends and family think about you, believe in you, and want to hear from you. Don’t feel bad venting to them or discussing your uncomfortable feelings or circumstances — you’ll find your friends and family are more wise than you may think.

Go on a cleanse

I did the Master Cleanse! It was difficult, but it filled me with a feeling of accomplishment and I felt totally detoxified afterwards, which enabled me to welcome in new, productive energy. You can also cleanse your apartment or room — I suggest burning palo santo or sage to cleanse your space of negative energy and then scrub and clean like it’s the first day of spring and your parents are coming over for dinner.

Give yourself a break from technology

It is a widely held opinion that we’re all staring at our screens too much. Give your brain a nice break from all that! Try only using your social media accounts once a day so you can really focus on yourself, and stop using your phone after 8pm for a better night’s sleep. I promise, it helped me tremendously and it can help you as well.

Get creative again

Creativity is good for the soul! For me, getting creative again meant listening to Enya and writing absurd fantasy stories in my Hello Kitty journal. But really, your way to creativity is your own, and whatever path that creates is totally fine.

Apply to anything and everything

Every new interview is an opportunity, at the very least, to hone your interviewing skills! Plus, the more circulated you can get your resume, the better. Make sure you’re on all the usual career sites — LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc.

Work a job you have no experience in

Working in a space you’re not accustomed to can be an incredibly eye opening experience. Pick up odd jobs, part time work or any freelancing gigs you can get. Work in a restaurant! Work in a bar! Work retail! While I was unemployed, I picked up retail jobs in the West Village in downtown Manhattan — it helped make my ends meet and made me feel more in control of my life.

Grab your current resume and throw it in the bin

Create a brand new resume! Your old resume no longer reflects who you are — even new formatting can be incredibly helpful. A fresh resume will remind you of who you are, what you’ve already accomplished and your boundless potential. Welcome in new employment energy!

Remain calm

Your life is very far from over — in fact, you’re just beginning to shine!

Of course, there are innumerable ways a person can thrive even in a difficult position like the one I was in; but these steps truly helped me to get back in touch with myself and jumpstart an amazing career, so I suggest giving them the old college try!