Survival Guide: The Job You Hate

If you drag yourself to work with a feeling of dread every day, this is for you.

No one likes every task they undertake throughout the course of their job, but that is quite different from considering quitting before every shift. I know I did this most days when I worked at a movie theater over the summer. It’s truly awful to feel that way on a regular basis.

Since not everyone has the luxury of just up and quitting, here are some tips that I’ve used to turn a bad experience around.

  • Identify what’s making you feel so discontent.

Maybe you can barely stand your coworkers, or you feel your manager is incompetent. For me, I found it unrewarding and exhausting to deal with unruly customers and sweep up popcorn messes. Whatever it is, figure out what’s making you dread the job.

  • Try to find the silver lining.

As trite as it sounds, thinking positive can make you feel better. If you do it enough, it becomes habit.

If I didn’t want to go to my shift at concessions because I knew it would be so busy I’d hardly have time to breathe, I thought “At least time will fly while I’m busy, and I get to be social with my coworkers.” If I was dreading the disgruntled customers I would have to handle working in the box office, I was perked up a bit knowing that I would have some down time where I could read a bit of my book.

At the very least, looking for the good in things will prevent you from being caught up in negativity.

  • Vent to someone if you need to.

There is someone in your life who will let you give voice to your dissatisfaction and sympathize with you. Perhaps it’s a parent or a sibling or a friend. Just try not to complain too much. Excessive negative talk can make you, and the person you’re speaking to, feel worse.

Another way to potentially improve your work experience would be to talk to your manager professionally about how you are feeling and how they can help you make some changes. In all likelihood, your manager does not know that you are unhappy and will appreciate you bringing the issue to their attention. You could even come up with a professional development plan together. Setting goals (and achieving them) can drastically improve your work experience.

Finally, and most importantly, …

  • Don’t let your frustration or exhaustion affect your job performance.

Discontent in your work can breed apathy, but don’t let it get the best of you! Tempting though it may be to slack off, keep your work above reproach. This way you will know that you are doing your best and you can feel good about how you handled yourself looking back on the experience.

Hopefully, something here speaks to you and will ease some of the strain you may be feeling.

If all else fails, maybe it is time to move on from this job. However, it never hurts to give it your all.

Know that you are by no means alone. Here are just a few articles to check out for more tips and commiseration:

3 Things You’ll Only Understand if You’re in the “I Hate My Job” Club

3 Reasons Why Your Employees Hate Coming to Work–and What to Do About Them

What to do when you hate your job but can’t quit

5 Last Minute Tips for the Recruiting Fair

  • Get Your Resume Ready

Take some time to update your resume. Additionally, be sure to read through your resume to look for any inconsistencies or grammatical mistakes. Print off plenty of copies to hand out to companies/recruiters, it never hurts to have extras left over, but you’re not helping yourself if you run out! The Boerigter Center is hosting a Career Carnival on Sept 30th and an all day drop in time on Tuesday Oct 1st if you want to have your resume reviewed.

  • Have Your Attire Ready To Go

Lay out your clothes the night before to ensure you are looking business professional. This will help get your mind in recruiting mode, ensure your attire is appropriate, and help you look more put together for the real world! The Fashion Club will be will displaying some great ideas during the Career Carnival on September 30th.

  • Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Be ready to talk about yourself! When you get to the front of the line you’ve been waiting in, be prepared to talk to the employer/recruiter, and not just drop off your resume. Want to practice with our staff? Head to the Career Carnival between 3-6pm on September 30th.

  • Research Companies

Head to Handshake to take a look at the listing of companies that will be in attendance, and figure out which ones you are most interested in. Then, go one step further and look more into that company. Take a look at their website and see what they are all about! This is a little homework, but can be very beneficial at the event.

  • Stay Calm

It is very common to get nervous at events such as this. Be yourself, take a breath, and relax! The professionals attending the fair are interested in Hope College students…and that includes you!

PT vs. OT: No, They’re Not The Same Thing

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in healthcare, the many different options may seem overwhelming at first. From medicine or dentistry to physical therapy or occupational therapy, among others, it can be difficult to discern which one is right for you. When it comes to choosing a career, it is important to learn about the differences between each field so you can determine which is the best fit. Physical therapy and occupational therapy often get paired as essentially the same field, however there are key differences that make them unique career paths and it is important to take these into account before choosing a track. 

What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?

The main difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that a physical therapist’s focus is on improving strength and mobility in specific areas of the body, while an occupational therapist’s focus is on improving patients’ abilities to perform everyday tasks in the home and workplace in order to improve quality of daily life. 

Both PTs and OTs help patients who are recovering from injuries, surgeries, illnesses, or other events that have an effect on a patient’s ability to move a part of their body or do basic daily tasks, as well as patients who have cognitive or physical disabilities that affect their movement or daily life. Oftentimes, the patients of physical therapists and occupational therapists overlap, especially in rehabilitation facilities focusing on helping patients post-stroke, injury, or surgery. 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists focus on helping people be more physically healthy by walking patients through strengthening exercises to improve mobility. A large part of a physical therapist’s role can also include helping patients prevent future injuries. Physical therapists work in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including visiting patients in their homes, and with all ages and ability ranges of patients. 

Physical therapists get a Bachelor’s degree and then go on to get a three-year doctoral degree in physical therapy. Requirements for entrance into physical therapy schools include prerequisite courses, passing the GRE exam, and knowledge or ability to perform the Essential Functions of Physical Therapy, among others. Some schools require a minimum number of volunteer/work/job shadow hours in physical therapy (e.g. GVSU requires a minimum of 50 hours). Our Health Professions Advisor Mary Kay Dobbins emphasizes shadowing experiences and recommends that students double the number of required shadowing hours for a given school.

Possible Areas of Focus: 

  • Treating and preventing injuries for professional, college, or high school athletes
  • Working with hospital patients post-surgery or post-injury
  • Treating patients in rehabilitation facilities post-injury
  • Working with special needs patients to improve coordination and movement
  • Working in or running a clinic for all types of patients

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists focus on helping patients perform daily tasks at their occupations more effectively, as well as in their daily lives, such as getting dressed, cooking, brushing their teeth, and other activities. There are five activities of daily living (ADLs) that directly affect the quality of a patient’s life if they are unable to perform them: (1) feeding one’s self, (2) bathing one’s self, (3) dressing one’s self, (4) being able to use the bathroom without assistance, and (5) being able to transfer one’s self without assistance (e.g. from a bed to a chair). Occupational therapists work with patients to restore ADLs that they can no longer perform or create plans and adaptations to work around any ADLs that cannot be restored. Occupational therapists work in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including visiting patients in their homes and workplaces. Since occupational therapists consider a patient’s well-being from both a physical and mental standpoint, they work in a wide variety of fields and work with patients to help them become happy with their daily life alongside more physically able. 

Occupational therapists typically get a Bachelor’s degree and then go on to complete a two-year master’s degree. There are also schools that offer a doctoral degree in occupational therapy in three years (although none in Michigan). In the near future, occupational therapy is anticipated to move to a doctoral degree only. Requirements for entrance into occupational therapy schools include prerequisite courses and passing the GRE exam, among others. Similar to the requirements for physical therapist candidates, some OT schools require a minimum number of work/volunteer/job-shadow hours in the field.

Possible Areas of Focus: 

  • Working with patients in rehabilitation facilities post-injury or stroke to help patients “re-learn” how to perform ADLs
  • Working with patients in homes and workplaces in order to help them adapt to their physical limitations
  • Working with children in schools to teach academic, play, self-care, and transitional/work-related skills
  • Working with elderly patients to increase ability to perform ADLs or adapt to their inability to perform these skills

Which one is right for you?

Both physical therapists and occupational therapists see patients long-term or short-term depending on the area that they work in. Both types of therapists are able to individualize care-plans according to individual patients’ needs. Physical therapy might be better for you if you are passionate about helping patients recover from injuries or surgeries by helping them improve mobility and strength. Occupational therapy might be better for you if you are passionate about improving the daily quality of your patients’ lives and helping people adapt to different injuries or disabilities. If you are still on the fence about whether you want to pursue a career in physical therapy or occupational therapy, job shadowing and/or talking with physical and occupational therapists can be a really good avenue to explore what it is really like to work in these fields. 

Other Resources:

For pre-health professions prerequisites and organization websites:


HANDSHAKE: Finding a Job and More

As a Senior, something always on my mind, which I am sure many seniors could agree on is: What will I do after I graduate?

The answers to this question will vary, some will choose to continue learning and attend graduate school, medical school, but many will join the workforce.

If you are planning to join the workforce; Handshake, which many of you hopefully have heard about is the perfect way to get started. 

So what is Handshake

Handshake is a career-service platform. Essentially, Handshake is an engine that was founded in 2014, with the purpose to connect students to potential employers. This is a platform created for you and me, to help us find jobs across America. As a Hope College student and even alumni, if you do not already have a Handshake account it is super easy to get started. The sign-in page will ask you to choose your school which would be Hope College. This will redirect you to enter your school’s username and password, this is your Hope College email username and password. 

The awesome thing about Handshake is that it allows the user to be really specific in the position that is desired. When creating the account it will ask for your area of interest and what kind of job you would like to look for. For example, if you are a senior wishing to find a full-time job in public relations in Boston, MA it is possible to filter some job opportunities right off the bat. 

On the Handshake home screen, Handshake presents different positions that might interest you, are popular based on your major, upcoming events, etc. Going on to the job search, you still have the ability to search based on job titles, employers, city, state, etc. The jobs posted will have details in order to know if it is a position you would like to apply too and if you match well with the requirements of a position Handshake will let you know. It is super easy to apply if there is a quick apply, however, there usually is also a link to apply through their website directly which would be recommended to do. 

There are a lot more perks to using Handshake, which include finding out about events that are happening around campus that are related to career. For example, under the Events page, you are able to view the details for all the events happening during the Boerigter Center’s Career Week. In addition to this, all appointments for Boerigter staff are scheduled through Handshake. Networking is also something that Handshake helps with, this allows you to know what jobs individuals who have similar interests or majors are doing after college. 

In conclusion, these are a few reasons why Handshake is an amazing tool to have and use:

  1. Makes job searching fast and convenient
  2. Schedule appointments at the Boerigter
  3. Find about career events that may interest you
  4. Network with individuals in your same major or interest

A Successful Summer of Opportunities

This past summer was one full of learning and growth for many Hope College students and alumni. From Discoverwork opportunities to jobs, internships and even clinical experiences, many students and alumni were hard at work in career fields they enjoy. Keep reading to find out what some of them were up to this summer! 

Natalie Brown ‘17

Natalie is a published author of the book 52 Cups of Coffee and was on a media tour this summer! 

Kate Kooiker ‘17

Kate Kooiker has her dream job at Magnolia in Waco, Texas as a Senior Display Assistant where she “Creates decorative displays and art installations according to the Magnolia brand to enhance the guest experience at Magnolia Market, Silos Baking Co., Magnolia Table, and events hosted by Magnolia.” This is the Magnolia of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ fame!

Eric Smith ‘19

This summer Eric created a productivity reporting model for our insurance authorization team at Spectrum Health. This tool gives leadership the ability to build a more lean and effective team and positively impact patient experience.

David Wang ‘20

David Wang enjoyed his Product Development internship at Comfort Research, a bean bag design company, in Grand Rapids this summer!

Molly Hidalgo ‘22

Molly worked as a Special Events Intern at National Heritage Academies. She assisted in planning and hosting various events such as new teacher trainings and luncheons! “It was such a fun and educational summer and I’m so thankful I have had this experience!” – Molly Hidalgo

Abby Brummel ‘20

Abby Brummel is a Studio Art and Communications double major. She interned this summer with the Holland Museum as their Communications and Development Intern, running their social media accounts, taking photos, and developing strategies for gaining membership for the Museum.

Addison Huss ‘19

Addison recently graduated from Hope with a degree in Social Work. In May, she started her job as a Foster Care Case Manager at Wellspring Lutheran Services in Kentwood, MI. “I love my job! So far my favorite part has been interacting with the families on my caseload and forming a relationship with them.” – Addison Huss 

Sam Gaby ‘22

This summer Sam worked as a sales intern at Amway Japan in Tokyo. “The picture is a Q&A session I did with one of the leaders in the company. The experience was more incredible than I could have possibly imagined.” – Sam Gaby

Johnny DeMaggd ‘19

Johnny DeMaagd opened a coffee shop, named Left Field, in Middleville, Michigan after graduating.

If you are interested in sharing your summer experiences with us, send us a picture of you at your DiscoverWork, job, internship, or clinical experience with us to display during our Career Week!

Fall 2019 | What You Need to Know

Handshake logoDid you know that all appointments are now made through Handshake? Learn more at or read our blog post!

Join us September 23 through October 2 for Career Week!

Please click on each event for a full description including registration information.

September 23
Decision Making | BCCC | 11am – 12pm
Decision Making | BCCC | 12 – 1pm
Choosing A Major | Herrick Room | 11am – 12pm
Choosing A Major | Herrick Room | 12 – 1pm
Boerigter 1 Year Celebration Open House | BCCC | 1 – 3pm
Headshots | BCCC | 1 – 3pm

September 24
Internship Planning Workshop | BSC Schaap Aud. | 11am – 12pm
Mentoring 101: Meet Your People! | Herrick Room | 3 – 4pm
Strengths Workshop | BCCC | 5 – 6pm

September 25
Handshake 101 | Herrick Room | 12 – 1pm
Résumé Review | BCCC | 3 – 6pm

September 26
Where Will You Go? Speaker Austin Asamoa-Tutu Jr. | BSC Schaap Aud. | 11 – 12pm
Pursuing Graduate School, Speaker: Jung Koral, U of M Graduate Studies | Herrick Room | 11am – 12pm
Living and Working: On The Lakeshore | Brew Merchant | 5 – 8pm

September 27
LinkedIn 101 | BSC Schaap Aud. | 12 – 1pm
Healthcare and You: Getting Involved | BSC Schaap Aud. 3 – 4pm

September 30
Career Carnival | BCCC | 3 – 6pm

October 1
Open Fair Prep Drop-in Day | BCCC | 8am – 6pm
Balance with Boerigter | BSC Great Room | 11am – 12pm

October 2
Fall Recruitment Fair | DeVos Fieldhouse | 5:30 – 7:30pm

Mentoring 101: Meet Your People! Go to Handshake to sign up for a workshop or one-on-one session to learn about how you can meet people to mentor you in all aspects of your life. Create a Mentor Map too! Openings are available now.


Apply for a DiscoverWork job shadow today! DiscoverWork connects you with alumni, friends or employer partners of Hope College who share their career experiences, lessons learned and professional tips for landing a job or internship in their industries. These short-term, unpaid opportunities to meet with or shadow professionals are different from an internship. They typically last 1–2 days, but may last longer. These opportunities take place all over the United States and are offered between December 2019 and May 2020.

Important Dates:

  • Monday, September 9, 2019: Applications Open for All Students
  • Thursday, September 12, 2019: Info Session on DiscoverWork, 11-11:50 Herrick Room
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019: Applications Due by 3:00 PM

Check your email next week for the application and opportunity list!

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am until 6 pm and Friday from 8 am until 5 pm. Boerigter rooms are now open to students in the evenings.
Are you looking for a quiet room to study? Come use our rooms in the evenings!

Learn more about Klesis

Are you a junior starting to think about graduate school? Do you have questions about whether an academic career is a good fit for you? Klesis is an organization on campus that matches students with faculty mentors and hosts programming designed to help students ask these questions. If you are at all interested in Klesis, contact Dr. Steven McMullen at or come to our information meeting on Monday, September 9 at 4:00PM in Graves Hall room 206.

What is new with you?

  • Share with us . . .what you did this summer? Send us a picture and description of your summer work/abroad experience to feature during Career Week.

Dear Senior . . .

Congratulations entering your senior year at Hope College. While graduation is months away, your last year at Hope will go by quickly. Therefore, please consider seriously taking some initial steps now to plan your transition to work or graduate school.

Our staff would be happy to assist you over the coming weeks to help you with a variety of issues, including:

  • Clarifying your career direction
  • Developing a plan for finding work
  • Approaches to effective networking (it’s in who you know… let us help connect you)
  • Coaching on how to prepare for interviews (what to wear, what to say, how to say it, and what to ask), as well as practicing your interviewing skills through a mock interview.

You will want to update or create your resume in Handshake, since it is the only tool we use for our events, intern/job postings and scheduling appointments with our staff. Please be sure to have a current profile with your up to date resume loaded.

Watch for upcoming events and opportunities to pursue at For example, in a few short weeks, there will be our annual Fall Recruiting Fair on October 2 to learn about, and pursue a range of opportunities.

Please call our office to schedule a mock interview to prepare for any upcoming interviews that you may have. Gaining experience with interviewing is key to building your confidence for the real thing. And, consider using our online interview practice portal, InterviewStream.

Take control of your future by taking initiative now. We are looking forward to meeting with you soon!

Dale Austin
Boerigter Center for Calling and Career

Jerry Maguire’s Tips for Parents

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career or as we like call it on campus the “Boerigter Center” or “BCCC” has formally been in place for just over a year, and parents may be wondering what resources are available and how students should engage the team.  To help guide you through the process, I will refer to a few quotes from life and career coach Jerry Maguire and his associates.

“You had me at hello”

The first question is, “When should students visit BCCC?”  The simple answer is right away, even as a freshman.  First Year Seminar (FYS) classes will engage BCCC resources to help students discover their calling and develop academic advising plans.  Outside of FYS, BCCC staff can meet with students individually or in small groups.  We find that meeting in small groups puts students at ease to learn that many other students are undecided and seeking assistance developing academic major and career plans.

“Help me help you”

There are a number of resources within BCCC to engage in every phase of your student’s college experience, but each step involves scheduling an appointment or visiting during drop-in hours.  To make this easier, we’ve added scheduling capability through the Handshake app this year.  Along the way, the BCCC team can help discover and explore gifts and interests, build a resume, draft a cover letter, explore internships, perform mock interviews, and find a job or graduate school.  Keep in contact with the BCCC team often, because all of these steps take time to do well.

“Play the game, play it from your heart”

Experiential learning, job shadowing, and internships give students the opportunity to obtain hands-on learning in a career field.  We encourage students to get this experience early on which enables them to explore multiple options or develop an academic focus for a given field.  This also provides networking opportunities and differentiated experiences that will be helpful going forward in the interview and application process for jobs and graduate school applications. 

“Show me the money!”

Soon your student will graduate from Hope and move on to a job or graduate school.  This is where all the preparation and experiences with the Boerigter Center at Hope pay off.  Looking good on paper (or electronically) is great and necessary, but 69% of all jobs are filled through networking.  We have a great network of companies, graduate schools, alumni, friends, and parents. Some tools that we use for networking include Handshake and LinkedIn.  From a student’s perspective, LinkedIn is not the most exciting social media platform for showing off to your friends what you did last weekend, but it is helpful for professional networking.  A good profile and many connections, even to their parents’ friends and colleagues, professors, or writers of marginally interesting blog posts, can be very helpful in obtaining soft introductions and referrals.  A strong profile can also be beneficial for students wishing to conduct informational interviews or get insights into a certain company. 

“You complete me”

In addition to encouraging your student to visit the Boerigter Center, there are ways that you as a parent can contribute to our joint success.  We would like to have you involved in experiential learning, job shadowing, internships, and networking.  Even if you’re new to the Hope College community, we encourage you to look at this as an opportunity to pay it forward for the parent or Hope alum that will help your student someday. 

Be the Ambassador of Quan and get involved at  We would love to talk with you more about how to get involved. 

Connect with Daniel Osterbaan, Director of Development for Parent Giving at Hope College

New Feature Alert: Appointment Scheduling Through Handshake

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to schedule your own appointment at the Boerigter Center without having to leave the comfort of your own dorm? Without having to work through a long email thread or even make a phone call? Now you can! The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is launching Self-Scheduling on Handshake. Read on to learn how to use this new feature. 

7 Easy Steps to Schedule an Appointment Through Handshake.

  1. Every student automatically gets a Handshake account upon coming to Hope College. This means all you have to do is navigate to and log in to complete your account using your Hope email and password. 
  2. Scroll to the upper right corner of the homepage by your name, there is a button labeled “Career Center.” From the drop-down there is a option that says “Appointments” select this to start the scheduling process.
  3.  At the top of the Appointments page, you will want to select, “Schedule a New Appointment.” 
  4. A few questions will come up to help you start scheduling your appointment including what class you are currently in and what kind of appointment you are interested in.
  5. Once you have selected your class and an appointment type, you will be able to see the next available appointment times. If you see a time that works for you, click on it to continue. Sometimes there are multiple staff members available for your desired appointment topic. If that is the case and you have a preference between them you can click on their name to see only their available time slots. 
  6. After selecting an appointment slot you will have a chance to write down the details of what you want help with. Each appointment will require slightly different questions to be answered.  This is to help make sure that the staff at the Boerigter Center can give you the best help possible. 
  7. Click request, make sure that your notifications are on and set to email notifications in case there are any updates to your appointment, and you are all set! We look forward to seeing you at your appointment. 

After you complete these steps you will get notified that your appointment has been approved by the staff member. This is an extra step on our end that makes sure you have the right appointment with the correct staff member.

*If you ever need to go back and look at your appointments, just go to the Appointments page. There you will be able to see any appointments you have scheduled and attended.

Want to learn more or see screen shots of the steps above? Check out the Handshake Help Center’s tip sheet How to Request an Appointment


Parent to Parent: The Time Has Come

It was six years ago when we dropped off our youngest for her first year of college. So many emotions and so little time to process them! It’s August 2019 and three weeks away from your child heading to Hope College; exciting and scary at the same time, especially if this is their/your first year. This post is to share some of my thoughts around this time and reflect a bit on what it was like for me. Take what feels helpful to you!

Our youngest chose an institution that was 506 miles away from home. It was the right fit for her but my mind spun through every negative scenario possible: What if she got homesick? What if she got sick and needed me? What if it wasn’t a good fit? What if people weren’t nice to her?… The reality was we would navigate it together even from a distance. It was just hard for me to see that. Thinking back on this time, this would have been helpful to hear:

  1. There are faculty and staff here at Hope who are parents. I’m one of them. We care about your student. You will never be able to take the “mom” out of me and that carries into the work I do. Trust that all staff and faculty WILL care for your child, not just as a student but as a person.
  2. Your child will have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment prior to coming to Hope. Talk to them about their results. Maybe take it yourself so you can share with each other. I found the language so incredibly helpful in understanding my daughter. It gave me insight into how she worked as a person which helped me speak her language when walking through challenges and successes.
  3. Give it some time. This is a significant transition for everyone. Your child wants to get out there and make their own decisions and that can be scary for both of you. Be patient and help them realize this is the first time in their lives they have had the opportunity to really make their own choices. They may feel like they aren’t good at it and that’s true; because they haven’t had much practice. Share how you make decisions not what you think the decision should be. Encourage them to connect with those of us on campus who also want to help them learn how to do this. It really does take a village if we want to do it well.
  4. Instinctively they may choose to do the opposite of what you say/hope and that’s okay. Even though I counsel around vocation, calling and career, my daughter needed to hear that from others who were “not her mom”. By encouraging her to reach to others, she came back to me for guidance on her own and that felt better to both of us.
  5. Tell them it’s okay not to have it all figured out! Be honest, we had very little figured out at 18 or 19 years old. Your student is coming to a liberal arts college where they will get a well-rounded education that will be marketable in any field. Encourage them to explore their strengths, interests, and what they feel potentially called to do. Give them the space to do that knowing it is a process we will support and encourage here at Hope.

This all sounds simple, but it isn’t. I had to fight with myself between what I knew my daughter needed and what I desperately wanted her to have. Be patient and have grace with yourself and your student. You will figure out this new chapter and relationship with each other!