The Economista: The (Job) Hunt Begins

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Welcome to The Economista! Brought to you by your first-year blogger/new best friend Karine Liu, The Economista is a blog for the budget-conscious Brunonian! Check back here each week for the tips and tricks that’ll have you rolling in your own sea of green out on the Main Green in no time!

How does one define adulthood? Is it a burgeoning sense of responsibility? A creeping fear of your own inevitable mortality? The shocking realization that Raisin Bran cereal actually tastes good?

Or is it that miraculous moment when you cash your first paycheck?

 There is something inherently mature in making your own money. Aside from the freedom it gives you to spend any way that you’d like, having a job makes you put in time and effort to receive an award other than a letter grade. While I’ve never had a job before, I’ve made it a goal of mine to become fiscally productive during my time at Brown, since Brown has all the systems in place to make getting that first job significantly easier than it will surely be later in life.

So as to this whole beginning of the job hunt, I spent a good hour at the Rock on perhaps the most important step in this process: defining your job dealbreakers. Here are some questions that, after much mulling over, have helped my job search go smoother:

  1. What fields are you interested in working in/would not mind spending late nights doing homework for?

There’s the well-worn saying: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Take this to heart, folks: pick a job involving either a subject you really enjoy or a hobby that you wish you had more time to pursue. Following a passion will come in handy when you’re sleeping a touch less and have to have two cups of coffee to stay awake.

  1. Can you handle a job?

Be honest here. What’s your class load going to be like? Did you struggle this semester? Is adding on this extra time commitment going to leave you super crunched for time? While getting a job is a wonderful experience, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance as well as some sort of social life.

  1. How much time are you willing to dedicate?

As probably one of the most important questions on this list, this question will be integral to your application process later on. How much time can you dedicate to your job? Is it within the range of hours wanted by the employer? Try to be as accurate as you can, but overestimating here wouldn’t be so horrible.

  1. How much will you work for?

Throwing in another phrase from the arsenal: “money is time.” Really think about how much you would pay yourself, given your skills and experience as well as your other time commitments. Is $8.50 worth more to you than an extra hour to sleep/do homework? You’ll have to decide.

  1. What’s the employed-you like?

Finally, take time to consider how your job will change you. Though we often think about how we can contribute our skills to an employer, it’s important to think about the reverse: how do you want yourself to change? What unique influences can one job have on you that another cannot? Pick the job that produces the best version of you; improving upon yourself is another benefit beyond improving the width of your wallet.

Really, if you answer these questions to yourself thoroughly, you’ll be well off in finding your dream job. These questions will make the beginning of the beginning job hunt THAT much easier and THAT much more successful! Stay tuned for more on the job process throughout the year!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for any topics you’d like to see covered by The Economista, email me at karine_liu@brown.edu! See you next week!

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