FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. It’s in the Oxford English Dictionary now, and defined as “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”
A couple months ago you may have decided to put your internship on hold, because FOMO. You had a serious case of it. You didn’t want to miss out on all of the summer fun with friends. And you told yourself, it’s OK…you’ll just get the internship next summer.
Now summer is winding down, and you’re preparing to go back to school. Sure you had some fun this summer, but probably not as much as your social media highlight reel put out into the world. That’s the thing about FOMO. It’s often induced by other people’s highlight reels. So the activities you feared missing, never quite lived up to your expectation.
To top it off, back on campus, you’re now listening to some of your peers enthusiastically swapping summer internship stories. You’re starting to feel a new case of FOMO creeping in. This time, it’s the Fear Of Missed Opportunities.
And sure, the summer internship chatter carries its own fair share of highlight reel. After all, internships are work. Internships aren’t going to be awesome, all the time. But there is something to be said for the growth, personal development and professional learning one acquires at an internship. Completing an internship can give you a new sense of worth…a confidence high.
So what can you do to combat this Fear of Missed Opportunities from the summer internship season? First, start by acknowledging how you feel now so that you can remind yourself of this feeling as you head into next summer. Think of it as the choose your own adventure of FOMO. You can either fall back into the Fear of Missing Out, or you can proceed with the fire under your butt from the Fear of Missed Opportunities.
Assuming you’re looking to avoid the Fear of Missed Opportunities in the future, I have some next steps you can take to kick off your adventure. Let’s flex that initiative muscle, shall we?
Attend the fall career fair on campus
I don’t care what year you are in school, you should go to the career fair. Even if the company you want to intern for won’t be attending the career fair. Why? Because a career fair is a great opportunity for you to practice. Get out there and practice how you tell your story, interact with recruiters and grow your professional network. You never know where someone may end up, and how they can influence your career in the future.
With fall career fairs right around the corner, I put together a video with all my tips on how you can prepare for your college career fair. You’ll get a recap of some of the points I make in this post, plus many more tips to help you rock it. Go check it out and leave a comment to let me know what school’s career fair you’ll be attending this fall!
Apply for fall, winter or spring internships
Who says you have to wait for next summer? There are so many internship opportunities throughout the rest of the year. Companies are always looking for the support, and depending on the industry they may need more support in the fall and winter months than they do in the summer.
I worked for an e-commerce start-up that was crazy busy in the months leading up to, and all throughout, the holidays. Extra support in all departments (engineering, marketing, customer service, ops) was welcome.
Think about the value that this additional internship experience will add to your resume. When you go to apply for summer internship opportunities, your proactive approach is going to help you stand out in a sea of applicants.
Get your resume and LinkedIn profile ready to go
Don’t wait until you have a summer internship opportunity to apply for to get your resume whipped into shape. For one, you’ll need an updated resume for the fall career fair. And on top of that, most companies start recruiting for summer internships eight months in advance now. That means your resume better be ready to go in the fall anyways.
Of course, you’ll want to tailor the resume to each opportunity you apply for. But until that time comes, pull the majority of your resume together and save yourself some time down the road.
And don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile. It is your living and breathing resume, and it will be reviewed by recruiters. Take the time to build out your personal brand on LinkedIn now. Create a polished profile and then consistently engage with brands or industry experts in your areas of interest.
So what do you say? Ready to kick your anxiety of missing things to the curb? Bye, FOMO!