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If you’re among the 4 million college students about to graduate in the US this year, you’re likely experiencing one of the most thrilling times of your life. And you’re about to launch an even bolder, brand new phase.

If you don’t have a position lined up right out of the gate, you’re fine. And clearly you’re not alone! Research shows that at least 38% of students don’t have a position lined up.

Perhaps you:

  • Are not sure what you’re after

  • Have landed a few interviews but no offers

  • Want to take some time off before transitioning to the work world

  • Have not built a network to help you find the right opportunity

  • Feel stuck in some aspect of your job search and don't know how to get the help you need

Whatever your situation, you want to be sure you make the move that’s right for you. And to do that, you need to be as strategic and stress free as possible.


The reality is, as exciting as this moment is, it also can feel unsettling. Many major aspects of your life are changing in a really short period of time. You’re leaving the warm, safe cocoon of your college life, filled with friends, teachers, bars, stores, restaurants and parks you may never see again.

Your daily routine will change completely. Instead of focusing on which classes to take on Mondays and Wednesdays, where to go on a Thursday night or when to cram for your next exam, your focus will be on determining things like how best to use your time, where you can afford to live and what type job is a great fit for you.

In many ways you’ve been preparing yourself for this big shift for years. You knew it was coming, and hopefully you’re eager and prepared. But it’s not always possible to anticipate every decision you’ll need to make or how you’ll feel about things. Sometimes we don’t know what life will really be like until we experience it ourselves. Sometimes our path forward is not clear. Sometimes the path looks vague and confusing. That's when stress starts to creep in.


Everyone handles change differently. It's important to 1) acknowledge how well you’re managing change and 2) identify your stress level so you can get the tools you need to tackle it if it's getting in your way.

Those on the low end of the stress continuum don't find the transition to this new phase very stressful at all. Those on the high end feel scattered, anxious, stuck and unable to move forward. And many new graduates feel somewhere in between.

Stress is 1000% natural, and we need an appropriate level of it to function well, have energy and feel motivated and achievement oriented. However, too much stress can stop us in our tracks. It causes or contributes to all kinds of physical ailments (headaches, acne, stomachaches, clenched jaws, sleeplessness) and long-term health concerns too, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. NOTE: If you feel your stress is significant, consult your physician, who may connect with a mental health professional.

It’s also nearly impossible to make good decisions when your stress is too high. And when you’re changing a lot of aspects of your life all at once and you’re about to make some significant decisions, you definitely want to be able to think clearly, creatively and logically.


Fortunately, there are many practical steps you can take to reduce job search nerves, such as being organized and practicing your interviewing skills; sleeping well; and establishing realistic goals and timelines. These are all beneficial approaches.

What’s even better? Establishing a positive, focused and calm mindset as your foundation. Do this, and you can tackle anything.

The most effective way I’ve found to do this is by incorporating techniques that help us relax, focus and feel energized and positive. The best tools for this are those that instill mindfulness.

Being mindful means being fully present and aware of what you are doing, seeing, hearing and feeling in any given moment without judgment. It means paying solid attention on purpose and not drifting off and thinking about something else.

If you meditate or practice yoga, you already may be familiar with mindfulness and its benefits, which are numerous. Mindfulness increases empathy and compassion toward yourself and others. It strengthens your ability to focus and solve problems. It enhances your self-acceptance and patience. It boosts your vitality and well-being. And it reduces stress.

There are several simple ways to add mindfulness to your life and job search, including exercises focused on taking slow, deep breaths, meditation, mindful walking and much more.

For example,

Download my free guide to learn X.

The bottom line is, you don’t need to have your life and all your next moves figured out. But introducing mindfulness into your life will help you ensure more of those next moves will be the right ones for you.

You may never have such a completely wide open opportunity to find the job and craft the lifestyle you most desire. You deserve to find work that brings you joy, meaning and success as you define it. Take a deep breath. You've got this. Your moment is now.


Mindful Reimagineur

As a Mindful Dream-Job Career Coach, Owner of Planet Reimagine and with Manhattan as her backdrop, Trie thrives when collaborating with others to reimagine their life, work, leadership or organization. She developed and taught Career Success Preparation for The Media School at Indiana University, where she taught 21 classes. A 30-year vegetarian, adopted-dog mom and travel-happy meditator and yogi, Trie is a former CIO and COO and founder of Embark and The Love Monday Method. She has two Master's degrees, six coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Connect with Trie at


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