Five Tips for Thriving in a Challenging Job Market

As Commencement season closes in, the staff of JWU’s Experiential Education & Career Services is typically in a position of cheering our students on. Most years, we are celebrating their successes with them after having gone through the process of getting to know them and working in tandem to prepare them for their career paths. Just a few months ago, students had their pick of opportunities with employers clamoring for JWU talent and competing for them in what was a very healthy economy. Today, the news is very uncertain.

Recently, we had the opportunity to hear from a student who lost his offer of a coveted Manager-in-Training (MIT) position, which was rescinded because of the pandemic; he had locked up this position six months prior to graduation. His ability to recover from his disappointment and become resilient and positive in the process of this quickly changing climate was the inspiration to write this — in hopes that it speaks to students and gives them the motivation and tools they need for resilience and hope. Why? Because things will turn around again and those that can follow these tips as guidelines on their path will be more prepared to attain their goals.

Students, here are the top 5 tips that you need now:

1. Resiliency
Resiliency can be applied to any aspect of your personal or professional life.

One case in point: The student who inspired this story, Tashawn Rawls. He is a graduating senior in Culinary Arts and Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship. He is also the chapter president of Alpha Alpha Tau Chapter Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

JWU Senior Tyshawn RawlsRawls has been working with one of our career advisors, Kara LaBelle, for the past year preparing for the competitive MIT process. We were there to celebrate this success with Tashawn – and when the position was rescinded, Tashawn took the time to share his gratitude for the career advising provided by Kara. We were so impressed by his resilience that we reached out to him to let him know and ask if he would take part in this piece because he became such a bright spot for us. Thank you, Tashawn, for your resilience and staying true to the Wildcat Way: Pride, Courage, Character, and Community. You are well prepared to go far and we are here for you and cheering you on every step of the way!

2. Patience
Growing up, many of us heard the mantra, “patience is a virtue.” As a result, we had the opportunity to learn the value of patience in many ways. This is important right now. Why? Because your patience will be tested as it is right now.

So take a deep breath and breathe. Reflect. Remember that your JWU education has prepared you for this moment. All of the skills you have been learning — in the classroom, on campus, through experiential education, and career advising — have asked you to look at your skills and identify your strengths to align them with a career. Keep on that path.

Having the patience to continue to develop your strengths will lead to longterm success. We’ve developed a variety of resources that may help.

3. Resourcefulness
Resourcefulness is the ability to find new ways to reach your end goal — to pivot.

The most successful NBA players will tell you that their ability to pivot leads to wins. Think Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and the late great Kobe Bryant. Your ability to think on your feet and find new ways to your goals — to pivot — will give you new directions to follow down paths you may never have dreamed of. Take the job quiz at This will generate a wide variety of job titles in multiple industries that take your interests and skills into consideration. It could lead you toward new opportunities and directions by thinking about jobs you hadn’t considered previously.

Read about how resourcefulness can bring you success here and make a virtual appointment with a career advisor to discuss the results of your quiz. We are here to help you think of multiple ways to reach your goals, including preparing for virtual interviews that employers are relying on more than ever before. Your career advisor can help you practice using Big Interview.

4. Discipline
As an optimist it can be hard to think of discipline as positive tip, but it is indeed discipline that’s needed. We are always telling students that it is a part-time job to search for a job. This is true because you need to discipline yourself to systematically set any free time aside to search. Until you are well-established in a career, the chances of a job finding you are pretty slim. Take the time to set up a regular schedule to perfect your resume with keyword rich descriptors tied to every job you apply to, revise your LinkedIn and Handshake profiles, and virtually network.

Read more about how discipline can help you find the right job. Be sure to visit HireJWU for the latest postings and events by logging in to > jobs & internships > search jobs or search events.

5. Optimism
Optimism has health benefits, such as providing you with the benefit of less stress. We could all use less stress in our lives and having an optimistic, yet realistic, view of the world can help you personally as well as professionally. Think about any job or internship you have been offered after interviewing. Our guess is you can think back and point to being engaged and positive in describing how you could contribute to that role with solid examples. Read more about how optimism can help you.

We are working diligently with our students virtually to provide them the additional support they need right now because we believe there is always a silver lining. Things will get better. When they do, we want our students prepared and ready to once again be offered the best and most competitive positions to grow their careers.

Contact Experiential Education & Career Services to set up a virtual career advising appointment. Log into > jobs & internships > Handshake then click on Career Center > Schedule Appointment. Our staff is ready to see you through this!