February 6, 2024, by lgyrm8
How to approach a careers fair when you have anxiety
By Rania Monasch, BA Geography Student
It’s that time of the year when you’re thinking about jobs and future careers. So, what better time to attend a careers fair?
You want to attend a careers fair to find out more about your options but there’s a slight problem: you struggle with anxiety. It might be difficult for you to talk to strangers, and you might find crowded spaces overwhelming. While careers fairs can be beneficial for students, they can also be overwhelming as various companies are presented to you all at once, and you can see that other students are also going for the same opportunities as you.
So, here is a list of things you can do to get the most out of a careers fair when you have anxiety:
- Approach an employer that you feel comfortable discussing ideas with. You might find it intimidating talking to new people so keep an eye out for an employer you feel you can talk to. All the employers at the careers fair will be friendly, so don’t be afraid to go up to them.
- Prepare some questions you can ask when you go up to an employer. For example, ‘Can you tell me more about your graduate careers?’. This is a great way to let them lead the conversation and the best way for you to find out the information that you need.
- Let someone else ask the questions while you listen. Sometimes a little eavesdropping goes a long way. Just pay attention to other people’s conversations with employers and you might get all the answers to the questions you had anyway.
- Scan their QR codes and take any leaflets. A lot of the companies at the careers fairs have generated QR codes and pamphlets for students to scan and take to find out more information. Maybe you would prefer to keep interaction to a minimum, so scan away.
- Bring a friend along with you. You don’t have to go to a careers fair by yourself and it might be easier if you have some support. Find a friend you can trust and head to the careers fair together so that you don’t have to go up to employers on your own.
If you find yourself struggling with anxiety related to careers, there is wellbeing support provided by the Careers and Employability Service which can support and guide you through.
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