The job search process is just that—a process. Any search takes time, research, and persistence. Learning to be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process will go a long way.

Reflect on Your Process

Before diving into any search, we encourage you to take the time to consider:

  • What do you need to stay feeling well?
  • What strategy and schedule works best for you?
  • What routine works for your natural rhythms?

Our 6 Tips for Maintaining Balance During Your Job Search

We know that balancing a job search with the rest of your life can be a challenge. Try out these tips for finding balance in your search.

Tip #1: Create Your Network of Support.

Surround yourself with friends, confidantes, and cheerleaders. After a day of tough interviews,  it may be hard to remember that setbacks are temporary. A friend or former colleague can empathize, remind you of your value, and put things into perspective. You could even start a job search group amongst friends to keep up momentum.

Think about creating your own “board of advisors”—people you can turn to with questions and for support.

This can include your advisers and counselors on campus, at Center for Career EducationAcademic Advising, and Counseling and Psychological Services. We can help you test your assumptions about effective search strategies and anticipated timelines, and support you on balancing academics and maintaining overall wellbeing.


Doing something small toward your search every day or every week can give you a sense of accomplishment. A career counselor can help you think about what this might look like for you.

You might find it helpful to set aside scheduled time to focus on your job search each week, so that can make steady progress. But be sure to put a limit on the amount of time you spend each day looking for a job. It doesn’t have to be a 9–5 undertaking!

Tip #3: Acknowledge and celebrate the Work You’re Putting In.

Consider keeping a journal, notes, or even a calendar to acknowledge your work and accomplishments. Remember, everything counts! Doing a few minutes of career research, contacting a Columbia alum in an interesting job, or updating your resume—these are all ways to chip away at your search. 

Use this record as a way to reflect on what you have  learned, and identify next steps in your search.

Tip #4: Take Breaks

No one can or should job search around the clock! Build in breaks, and engage in fun, social, or creative activities that nourish and revive you. Studies prove that taking breaks boosts productivity!

Manage your energy, too —make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and get some exercise. 


Don’t lose sight of what you care about. For instance, if you aren’t in school at the moment, you might want to consider volunteering while you search. You will feel more productive, put your own experiences in perspective, and even grow your network. 

Tip #6: Remember, Each Person’s Search is Unique

Your search will differ from that of your classmates, and that’s normal. Try not to measure your progress against anyone else’s accomplishments.

Remember, your search is not a test of your worth! Rather, it is about finding a place where you will be valued for your unique strengths and contributions.

Reach Out to Us

No matter where you are in your process, our career counselors are here to support you.