So you've made the decision to start your career right after high school. And hey, you're feeling pretty good about that decision, especially since you're on the fast track to Career Land. But making that decision is only the first step in getting where you want to go, and you might encounter some rush hour-level traffic standing in your way.

Don't worry if there are a few bumps in the road: You'll get there eventually. And prepping yourself for the feels that come along with all job hunts can help you push through the ups and downs on the way to starting your soulmate career.

Stage One: Optimism

Heck yeah, you're going to score your dream job on the first try. Why wouldn't you? YOU'RE YOU! Let's fire up that computer and start what should ultimately be a five-minute search for a CEO position.

Stage Two: Determination

OK, so the red carpet wasn't exactly rolled out for your first try. But it doesn't matter, because you are determined to nail this job thing once and for all. You've got this.

Stage Three: Disappointment

You sent in some applications and maybe the organizations didn't even reply to you and suddenly, that confidence you had yesterday fizzles into utter disappointment. You knew you'd be great for that job, but it didn't come through. Bummer.

Stage Four: Jealousy

You don't want to focus on failing, so you become obsessed with what everyone else is doing. Oh, your older brother was just made VP of Operations at his company? AWESOME. You'll just celebrate with a bowl of cereal and a three-hour Angry Birds session, so it's cool.

Stage Five: Fear

After a few more rejections, the fear sets in: Did you totally screw up by deciding to go to work? Will you ever get hired? WILL YOU BE FIGHTING OVER THE BATHROOM WITH YOUR DAD FOREVER?!

Stage Six: Bargaining

We get it: Your confidence is so shaken that you're now willing to accept a job. Any job. You don't care what it is, as long as it involves a pay day.

Just hang on a little longer...

Stage Seven: Hope

What's that? Someone replied to your application/resume/networking email? Is there a teeny light at the end of the tunnel?

Stage Eight: Elation

YOU GOT THE INTERVIEW! It's finally happening! Your job search through the depths of Craigslist was not in vain. And you're so close you can taste it, and success basically tastes like an ice cream sundae with extra sprinkles.

Stage Nine: Confidence

Now that you know you have the skills to pay the (electric) bills, you can head into your interview feeling confident and capable, like the time you made scrambled eggs for the first time.

Yeah, the job hunt can be hard and kind of soul-sucking at times. But remember: The perfect career path and jobs along that path aren't going to just fall into your lap. And, like anything worth having, it won't come easily. Just don't let a few failures totally derail your

By Jae — Potato Sculptor


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