After three months and eight days of being unemployed, this week I signed a contract for my new job. Over this time,
- I applied for at least fifteen jobs.
- I had at least eight interviews.
- I gave two presentations
- I did one workshop
- I did one personality test
It was hard.
I was lucky that I got a lot of interviews. But I never got offered the job.
There were days of feeling rejected. Like no one could see my value or worth. Like I was messing it up and doing something wrong. I felt in limbo, stuck and unmotivated, waiting for something to happen before I could move on with other stuff. I would catch myself thinking, ´Once I am working, I will practice yoga every day´. But really, what was stopping me? I had all the time in the world.
It was a serious test to my resilience, to be able to keep falling down, getting up and dusting myself off and trying again. Rejection isn´t nice.
What I learnt was:
// There is no such thing as limbo. This is life, right now. If it doesn´t look like how you want it to, seriously think about what is in your control to do about it. I spent my time applying for jobs, reading, developing and refining my thinking, and diving the development of this blog. Never underestimate the power of a side project to bring you small glorious joy.
// Employers have some terrible practices and processes. Looking for work will test your resilience like almost nothing else, so be prepared. Give yourself a routine, get enough sleep, fuel your body well. Share your frustrations with trusted friends and be ready to pick yourself up again, again and again. Keep your eye on the prize.
// There are practical things that are important to employers.
- you need a clear and relevant CV
- you need a good cover letter that explains your most relevant experience and skills and why you´d be good in the job
- you must prepare for interviews and be prepared for random unscheduled phone interviews. Keep an easy to access record of all the roles you have applied for, so that you don´t get confused about which one they´re talking about when someone calls you.
- if you have to do a presentation, make it pretty. Pay attention to the design and the way you deliver it. I personally prefer a simple black and white powerpoint without photos to focus on the content, but in both cases I presented, I was told the content was good but the presentation itself was boring.
Hard times are hard. Make it easy on yourself to get through. Be kind to yourself. And remember, it will pass. Be proactive, keep yourself busy and you´ll be ok.
How do you get through the dreaded job search?