I live away from Tokyo and worry about job hunting

The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female student in my 20s who lives a long way from Tokyo. I worry every day because my job-hunting activities haven’t progressed as I hoped.

I was told differing information about the starting date — either June or August — for this year’s corporate recruiting activities for university students, such as interviews.

I started my preparations early to make sure I could do my job hunting satisfactorily in both schedules. In reality, however, it’s much harder than I’d expected. Although I try to encourage myself and keep my spirits up, I can’t motivate myself.

Due to this anxiety, I’m at a loss for how to start my job-hunting activities. I work part-time, but the money I have to spend on job-hunting activities in Tokyo is running out. I hate myself when thinking about the precious time I’m wasting every day.

I have a brother who is eight years younger than I am. I’m aware I need to work and help him go to whatever high school and university he wants. Sadly, though, my strength is ebbing.

I know I should be tougher on myself, but please tell me how I can deal with my anxiety.

K, Hokkaido

Dear Ms. K:

The starting time for students’ job-hunting activities has been changing each year recently. Because of this, it isn’t helpful to hear accounts of university graduates and others who have job-hunted before. Various rumors also circulate. I understand how frustrated you are. In addition, as you live a long way from Tokyo, it’s tough to go there. Despite the hardship, you’re even thinking about your brother’s future. You’re a wonderful sister.

Many students who are doing job-hunting activities have similar concerns. I always give students advice such as: “Even if you fail to pass a job screening test, it doesn’t mean the doors are all closed. Carry on by realizing that that company isn’t a good match for you.”

It’s natural for you to be uneasy and irritated in this difficult situation. If you feel that way, I suggest you try to observe your feelings objectively. Voicing these feelings also helps. After a while, say to yourself, “I will put my anxiety aside” and then start your job-hunting activities. Do the same before you go to job interviews.

There should be companies in or near your hometown in which you can make use of your abilities. So don’t get stuck on the idea of only working in Tokyo, but broaden your search.

You still have a lot of time, though it may not feel this way to you. Don’t give up and continue your job-hunting activities.

Masahiro Yamada, professor

(from April 26, 2016, issue)Speech

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