I recently made the return back to work on November 10, 2014. It was a lot of work, dedication and persistence to get to this point. The challenge wasn’t being able to find a job. The challenge was being able to find the job that was right for me. To show you my path to eventually finding the right position, let me share some statistics with you.
12: The number of years I worked at my previous company. I entered there in a call center roll, and left there as a senior digital marketing/e-Commerce leader.
281: The number of days I had time off to recharge, refocus, and figure out what my next career move would be.
11: The number of job opportunities that were presented to me, and right away I knew they were not the right fit for me.
50. The number of cover letters and jobs I applied to online from March to September of this year.
100: The number of copies I had for my resume.
97: The number of people I physically handed my resume to for job opportunities.
4: The number of companies that did their final round interview with me, and I was not chosen as their candidate.
42: The number of blog posts I have published this year (and counting)
From reading these various statistics and dates, it should be an indication of how busy and active I was trying to find the right opportunity to get to next. The job hunt is not an easy exercise. It takes the 3 Ps to eventually be successful: Persistance, Patience and Positivity. When I got the offer letter on Halloween morning, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. All the months of hard work and dedication paid off.
Here are my tips/strategies on how to overcome and win at the job hunt (in no particular order)
1. Take a moment to step back and evaluate what your goals are
This is the 1st and most important thing for you to do. You don’t want to go on the job hunt without thinking about what your goals are, and which exact companies/businesses you want to target. The stress of not having a job will hit you. Don’t let it cripple you and make decisions you will regret down the road. Not everyone will have the chance to take their time like I did. However, give yourself a moment to breathe, relax, step back and take a moment to decide what you want; what makes you happy. Then evaluate, plan and go for it.
2. Stay active and do things that make you happy
Staying active and doing things that make you happy, is a great way to stay motivated in your job hunt. For myself, the first 2 months I went travelling and gave myself a well deserved break. It was one of the best moves I made during my job hunt. When I came back, I made a promise to myself to keep busy and do things I was passionate about. I went to the gym, finished my certification in Digital Marketing Management, started my blog, and did a lot of reading. I also made sure not to sleep in past 8 am. By staying active and being happy, it gave me the confidence to look for the right opportunity for myself.
3. Ignore the doubters and naysayers
There will be many people who will like to highlight to you on how tough finding a job is. You will also find that these individuals will unintentionally push their own fears and views on finding a job on you. The best way to deal with people like this is to ignore what they say to you. Use their words and thoughts as motivation for you to hit your goal
4. Build a great fan base to cheer you on to your goal
Your family and friends are great support, and will be there for you during this time. I experienced many heartbreaks and setbacks during this time. I remember one situation where someone left a voice message cheering me up, and telling me not to quit. It was awesome to hear this. When you have the people around to cheer you on, you will find that you will have little time to feel disappointed when things get tough. You’ll find the extra motivation to succeed in your job hunt, and that’s a good thing.
5. Don’t compare your situation to others
I learned very quickly that it’s pointless to compare your situation with someone else. We don’t exactly know the who, what , where, and hows of individuals who get their job offers quicker than others. There are way too many angles/variables to look at. One thing that is fair in all cases is that you are looking at a minimum of 4-6 weeks until you may get an offer. Depending when a person started to look, or when they finally decided to begin looking; it’s pointless to even compare your yourself to others.
6. Trust yourself, believe in yourself
Finding the right job for you is going to take time. It could be a few weeks, or even a few months. If you are fortunate, you will apply to one job, have a few interviews, and then get an offer. In my situation it wasn’t the case. I had many, many setbacks. There were moments I thought that finding the right role wasn’t going to happen. I trusted myself, believed in myself, and just kept a positive attitude. It got to the point where if things didn’t workout, I gave myself a day or less to recover; then just moved on. Don’t lose focus and remember that you are in an exciting place. Be positive, keep your head up, and believe that it is only a matter of time till things happen.
7. Enjoy the time off. It doesn’t last forever
Having a break from the work world is an opportunity to recharge and refocus on what you want out of life. It is also a time to do activities that will make you happy and keep you in good spirits. I knew to make the most of my situation, and that I most likely won’t have a break like this again. The time off ended for me in early November. Looking back, being able to travel, focus on school and re-evaluate what is important to me was a great exercise.
8. Give back and help others with their job and career moves
It is always important to find a way to give back to others and help them find the next role. There were many people who took the time to help me stay motivated and prepare for my interviews. I will always be in debt to these great individual who helped me during this time. To repay back the debt, I helped put others in touch with companies; and provided career advice and lessons to those looking for a new role.
It was a long journey back to get back to work. I learned a lot of lessons about the job hunt, and as well as about myself. Many people have given me credit for being positive, patient and persistent during this break. I would like to thank my family, friends, former co-workers and classmates that helped me during this time. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, without these people. I hope this post helps inspire those looking for the next job/position. Remember you will find what you are looking for. Keep your head up. Stay focused. Be positive. You’ll get the next opportunity soon enough.
““The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt