Hey all you recent college grads– do you have a job yet?

The dreaded question that all recent college grads are faced with starting May 1. People say it with the utmost sincerity and yet it always comes across a little pretentious or prying–especially if you don’t have a job lined up, which is increasingly more common.

Getting personal; I’ve struggled with that question and the feelings of insecurity, failure and panic that accompanies it. I graduated May 8, 2015 with a Masters degree in Communication, but I’m currently heading into my second week of unemployment without a job promise and looming bills.

The jobless that’s haunting me is not for a lack of trying.

Since January 15th I’ve spent an average of 2 hours a day searching and applying for jobs in cities across the country and varying levels of management, skills and requirements. I’ve had 11 interviews, 4 second interviews, been told I was under qualified, overqualified, or ‘we’ve gone with another candidate’. The results are frustrating, especially when I think of the time I’ve spent on the process and the sacrifices made to allow me to get my two degrees. And I know many of you are feeling the exact same way.

Life is tough. So now what?

Here’s a few things I’ve been learning through this process.

1. Entitlement. Don’t ever have a sense of entitlement. It’s the number one turn off for employers right now. Be willing to answer phones or scrub toilets to make your dream job a reality.

2. Hard work will pay off. In the end, if you work harder than anyone else, you will come out successful. No way do I want to spend 8 hours a day scouring through job websites or cold emailing PR agencies, but I do because I believe in determination and persistence.

3. Take every interview. Even if it’s for a school janitor position, go to the interview and make your best impression. Why? Because it will give you good experience. Also, everyone is connected these days. You never know what leads you may get from a job interview. Act professional, take every opportunity like you’re interviewing for a Fortune 500 company.

4. Make the most of your free time. Don’t be lazy. Don’t waste your extra time in your unemployment days. Make good habits–like eating right, working out, starting new (free) hobbies, volunteering, etc. You will never regret being productive.

5. Don’t ever give up! Stay positive, keep working hard and the doors to opportunities will eventually open and your hard work will pay off.