How to Look for a Job While Writing a Thesis or When You’re REALLY BUSY

March 9, 2014 • How To, Life Tips

This post is dedicated to all the college seniors experiencing the struggle fest. Don’t worry, the end is near.


If you are a senior, you have a lot on your plate right now! Between classes, finishing your thesis, and staying involved in extracurriculars, it’s hard to find time for something really important to most seniors… the JOB SEARCH. There’s a lot that you have to do and not a lot of time to actually do it.  Though this time of the year can be especially busy, it is important to try to keep a balance and prioritize. Your job search is similar to any other endeavor in that your results will be directly proportionate to the amount of time and effort you expend. Don’t forget to leave time each week for your job search tasks.  Here are some easy tips to manage your time efficiently.

1. Make your breaks worthwhile.
It’s not reasonable to think that you can write for 24 hours straight (and it’s not good on your eyes). Write in one hour chunks and then take a break. Trust me, you’ll be more productive if you set realistic goals. Make your breaks something that you can look forward to. Maybe one of your breaks can be looking up jobs using social media networks. Create a daily schedule of breaks and make sure to include at least 2-3 (20-minute) blocks of time that you dedicate to looking for jobs. If you want it to happen, and you plan for it, it will!  Set alarms on your phone to remind you when these breaks will happen.

2. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor.  
Arrange some time to get away from academic work. Career counselors are here to help you. Maybe you need someone to vent to about your job search worries? Maybe you need someone to help refine your job search strategies? Take this time to get completely away from your thesis for thirty minutes. Find out if your school has a Career Services office and make an appointment to see someone one staff. The Career Services office at Princeton (when I was there)  was pretty relaxing . Anything is better than being stuck in your dungeon-like carrel!   Better yet, you will  feel good about making the time to do something for yourself and focusing on life after college.

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3. Set up Search Agents & Subscribe to Industry Newsletters. 
You might be too busy to comb websites daily for the latest openings. Aggregating content is a great way to save time.  You can usually set up job search agents on company sites or other job boards. Be sure to customize how frequently you want alerted. Another useful tip is to subscribe to industry newsletters. As someone who involved in the media and communications world, I subscribe to many industry dailies such as MediaBistro, Cynopsis, and PRNewser.  I like to set aside some time each briefly skim or read each one. This is a great way to keep up-to-date and save time . Because you are so busy right now, let the information come to you on a schedule!

4. Listen to Career Talks Online While Writing. 
You might be the type of person who likes to listen to music while writing. While this is great for focusing, why not change around what’s coming into your sensory pathways? The Internet is filled with career-focused webinars, career advice videos, and professional testimonials that are available for free. Instead of opening iTunes, try listening to an inspirational career talk.  Not only will you be writing your thesis but you will also be gaining useful career information and advice.

5. Relax.
One of the best things you can do during this time period is to just relax! You will be able to get everything done—from your thesis to your job search. The latter may take a little time, but just remember to keep positive through everything. Graduation is right around the corner!

What advice do you have to seniors managing looking for a job while keeping up with schoolwork? Share your advice in the COMMENTS section!

A version of the post originally appeared on the Princeton University Career Services blog. Read it by clicking here.
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Rana Campbell is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of, a site dedicated to personal branding and helping people learn how to SHINE in their personal and professional lives.

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