First – apologies to my friends and family who have already heard my good news on Facebook and LinkedIn. You are about to read it again. 🙂
For the rest of you, guess what?! I got a new job!!!
I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life with an opportunity that truly matches up to my values, skills, talents, and passions. It did not happen overnight. Far from it! I was furloughed back in July, but I was already looking. And when I stopped working, I was determined to find a new job.
I’ll be honest. I got frustrated and there were times that I started to lose hope. I was up for some fantastic positions. I have a solid resume and the right stories to use during interviews. It just wasn’t the right time. In fact, finding a job in normal times is never easy. Add in a pandemic and a bad economy, and it was even more difficult. I had to stand out in a huge pool of people who were just as talented, experienced, and recently unemployed. I had to make a lot of adjustments to my process. I did more networking than applying. I learned to interview over Zoom. I took classes to improve my skills. And building my brand on LinkedIn became my new favorite pastime.
I learned so much! And I’m glad to have this platform, so I can pass along some advice (and some good stories) to those of you who may still be looking.
Here is lesson number one.
Know When to Walk Away
It seems like a funny lesson to start with, but when you spend every waking moment looking for a job, you want to know that you are making some headway. So, I learned to recognize when an opportunity just wasn’t right for me.
In one particular case, I met with several people from an organization on three separate occasions. After the initial phone interview, I was asked to provide two writing samples and put together a 15-minute presentation to show my understanding of their mission, and how I could help them meet and exceed their goals. I spent several days preparing and practicing, and I was proud of the job I did. I knew they were impressed too because, during my 1:1 time with the CEO, she asked me if I taught public speaking.
Yeah, I made it to round three. I met with the same people as before, but this time I was asked to edit one of their pieces for both content and grammar.
And then, they asked for a fourth meeting to “discuss my skills.”
At this point, I realized my skills couldn’t possibly be in question. They even told me I was the only candidate they were pursuing. Clearly, I had already proven my value. Their question was about fit. Was I the right person for the role? It was then that I decided to walk away.
I wasn’t angry. Relieved was more like it. If they couldn’t see it, there wasn’t anything more I could say or do to convince them otherwise.
It was a shame, but I kept moving forward knowing there was something better out there for me. I’m so glad I found it.