Michelle Reynolds, Staff Writer

If you’re a senior, you may be already counting down the weeks to graduation. While everyone focuses on the positives of leaving college, there is something that many students think about, but never publicly discuss. Self-doubt. Will I find a job? Am I qualified enough? Do I have the right skills, do I have any skills?

Here is a daunting statistic McGraw-Hill Education has discovered on career readiness among college graduates, it suggests that “only four of every ten college seniors feel that their time spent in college has adequately prepared them for life with a career.” Other articles also state the feeling of not feeling “very prepared” for life after college around the forties, while feeling ‘moderately prepared’ is higher. Men are more likely to feel optimistic about their future than women. What field you’re going into can also influence your post-college confidence. This article is here to help you overcome your doubt and to make you feel like the 60 percent who is ‘very prepared’ for life after college.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others.

This is sometimes referred to as the comparison trap. Tinybudha.com states that “When I compare my accomplishments to a colleague’s, I start feeling inadequate. Your colleague’s accomplishments are not a litmus test to grade your own success. One key thing to remember when you find yourself in this mental pattern is that everyone is on his or her own journey.”

  1. Believe in yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, potential employers won’t believe in you. While looking for jobs, apply for something that you think is slightly out of your experience. What’s the worst that could happen, you actually get called for the interview? If they want three years and you have three years, then they’ll want five years. Employers will always want more. Show them what you have, eagerness and your other experiences might make up for it. Low self-esteem doesn’t always mean low-quality work. Your portfolio might be filled with some amazing pieces, let the employers decide.

When filling out resumes, don’t be shy. Include everything: your volunteer hours, your unpaid internships, your mentorships. Everything. Talk about how the classes you have taken have helped prepare you. Show them projects or essays you have written for class. You are a brand pitching yourself to employers—sell yourself!

  1. Use Available Resources

College might seem like a place where you just go to class and then immediately leave after, but the University of Missouri–St. Louis is much more than that.

Teresa Balestreri, the director of UMSL’s Career Services says, “Self-doubt can lead to negative consequences and limit your opportunities as you enter the job search and start your professional life. There are numerous resources to tap into on campus, including career counselors, personal counselors and academic coaches. Working with campus resources on an individual and workshop basis may help you overcome self-doubt and provide tools for success.”

UMSL, in particular, offers plenty of on-campus internships jobs, and networking opportunities. Good places to search are on the UMSL events calendar and TritonCareers. Think your after-school activities section is a little bare on your resume? Join a club on TritonSync. Want to get better at editing videos or Photoshop? Take a class in it even if it isn’t your major or familiarize yourself with programs on the computers provided in the labs where tons of professional applications are already downloaded for free.

Career Services has an upcoming workshop April 18 called “Tips For Professionals Starting Their First Job.” This event will be on the third floor of the Millennium Student Center in meeting room 315 and will take place from 2-2:30 p.m. Visit the Career & Employer Events page at http://careers.umsl.edu for more information.

Even though senior year may sound daunting, don’t let it stress you out. Remember, your journey has just begun.