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You Don’t Have to Love your Job

True love doesn’t always lead to Happily Ever After. In a world with bleak outlooks for careers, graduates need to keep their feet on the ground.

A “fulfilling” job can take on infinite definitions: For some, it’s one in which they can quickly advance and have a large impact; others think of being able to focus on one project at a time and travel extensively; still others will visualize helping people while still having time for a life outside of work. Doctorate graduate students are encouraged to look outside of the tenure track if they are having a difficult time finding a position of if the position they have turns out to be outside of their idea of “fulfilling.”

Some career advisors, they warn, may not take warmly to the change of plans, but be sure to network extensively and talk to people in all sorts of positions to get an idea of whether the job fits your idea of “fulfilling.” You likely won’t be able to find a job that checks all of your boxes, but if you can find one that you like—or even love—parts of, that’s a start. Your first (or second or third) job after you complete your degree will likely not be your last. Keep a wide net and keep your dreams within the realm of possibilities.

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