Truth be told, I like the process of finding a job. Playing within the strict limitations of a resume, while still being able to make it your own, is like a little puzzle that I can't wait to solve. Researching companies, and seeing the boundless amount of opportunities out there gets my blood pumping. And don't even get me started on interviews: LOVE THEM!
While it wasn't my goal to go through multiple jobs within a year and a half of graduating, I don't believe there is anything wrong with it. Knowing what you're worth and what you deserve should be able to guide you to the job of your dreams, just so long as you don't hunker down at the wrong one. So in the never-ending quest for a job that satisfies my need for challenges, encouragement and passion, I've done a lot of job hunting. I think I've found where I'd like to grow some roots, so now that I'm out of the job market, I feel content with giving up all my trade secrets for you job hunters (kidding, I don't have trade secrets):
- Go on Indeed: They make applying to a job (almost too) easy AND have a really wide selection of jobs to choose from. Most of my successful job leads came from here.
- Use your network: It sounds cliched, but you never know where a job lead may come from. Letting key people know tactfully that you are open to new opportunities can result in them passing along your information to important people in the right places. Don't be afraid to ask (I know I was hesitant to reach out to people, but it really does help).
- Work on your resume: And then keep working on it. This is a living document and will never, ever be done getting revised. Get other people to look at it, tailor the wording to each job description and keep it current. I really stress the fact that other people should look at it, as it doesn't matter what you like if it doesn't make sense to other people.
- Research the company well: Not only do interviewers care about what you know, but they're interested in how you're going to use what you know to benefit them. You can do that easily but learning about the company, and pre-brainstorming what you think your value-add is to the company. Basically, think of your unique value-proposition and make sure you hit home why that position needs to be filled with you and you alone.
- Get your interview outfit ready: So this may be girly or superstitious, but I've got one classic interview outfit. Now, anytime I've got that on, I know it's game-time. Since most places will have rounds of interviews, you'll need more than one, but getting your foot in the door with one solid selection is a good place to start. Also, it makes the morning-of stress-free when you know that everything is going to match and fit, like normal.
- Apply and (if offered) interview at places outside of your comfort zone: You actually may never know what'll be a good fit for you until you put in the time to research the company, meet them and mentally put yourself in that environment. Even after I "wasted" my time going to an interview at a law firm, I was happy I went because it reinforced what I valued in a work environment and enforced my desire to eternally cross off law marketing from my desired career paths.
- Practice interview questions: Sounds dumb, but I had my roommates throwing endless questions at me several days before the interview. You never know what they'll ask, so even the worst practices questions got me thinking on my feet, and refreshing what experiences I can pull from.
- Enjoy it! Admittedly, when I was applying for jobs, I already had one, and my financial future and family wasn't depending upon it. I could see that being stressful. But applying for jobs is actually really fun! There are SO MANY CAREER OPTIONS OUT THERE, it's downright exhilarating putting yourself out there to potentially get a new exciting career. Even just trying on job descriptions, and thinking "is this something I want, or would like?" is a fun little mental game.
Applying to new jobs is a step in the right direction to your new future, so get excited and get out there!