10/12/2015 1 Comment
I recently completed my journey of searching for a job. The entire process, though draining, has taught me a few (okay, a lot) of things. It also opened my eyes to an interesting perspective on the job search journey.
Read more below for my thoughts on the many similarities between finding full time employment and finding a soulmate....
1. Relationships don’t happen overnight.
I constantly found myself jumping the gun at turning down a job – sometimes even before applying! I delayed my timeline for applying to jobs in fear that the process would happen within a few weeks and I wouldn’t be ready to start.
The truth is, the hiring process takes time. You usually have an initial phone conversation, a second phone conversation, an in person interview, and maybe even a second in person interview. This whole process, dependent on everyone’s schedule, can take over a month! Long story short, don't delay your search out of fear of everything happening too fast. Companies ask for a start date for a reason.
2. There’s no guarantee there will be a second date, no matter how well you think the first one went.
This piggy backs off of the first realization. Just because your phone interview went really well or your in person interview went really well, doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed an offer. Once again, I often found myself becoming overwhelmed at the thought of choosing between two jobs when I wasn’t even presented with a firm offer yet!
Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t compare your options yet until you actually have offers. Comparing offers is completely fine; however, comparing something you don’t have any monetary value for or benefits to go off of will only cause you anxiety.
3. It takes a lot of dating around until you find the right fit.
Going into my first internship, I remember thinking how awesome it was to be dressed up in business clothes every day and walk into an office that required fob access...
However, once the luster wore off, I began to notice some things that I didn’t like about certain aspects of my internships, such as company culture, management style, and other key items that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a job. At first, I was blindsided by the initial excitement of being in the business professional world.
Complete as many internships as you can at places you think you'd like to be employed one day. Figure out what you like or don't like. You may be surprised at what you find out about your supposed "dream job."
4. You get out what you put in.
I made sure when I went to work that I put in 110% every day. If there were ever down times, I would always find work to keep myself busy. Whether that was researching the latest industry trends, finding ways to improve business processes, or shadowing an employee, I was constantly keeping myself busy and expanding the breadth of my knowledge.
By doing so, I expanded my resume more and impressed my managers that I had the company's best interest in mind. That being said, be the one to ask a question at a meeting you're invited to, show interest in a certain employee's job, or actually ask if there is something that needs to get done but has been put off due to a lack of resources/time. You are there to help in whatever way you can and learn as much as you can. Most importantly, showing that you put in so much effort could lead to an awesome recommendation or better yet, an offer for employment.
5. You need to feel valued and important, as it's a two way street.
If you are an intern or starting out at entry level, the relationship between you and your company should be reciprocal. You should feel proud and excited to be there and your company/supervisor should make you feel wanted and valuable. They should recognize the work you're doing for them, even if it's just verbal.
If they don’t, you deserve better. You deserve to be at a place that is going to appreciate your work and invest in you. They should want to see you succeed, not ignore you and the work you’re doing for them. In addition, make sure you're being paid what you deserve -- never be afraid to negotiate your salary.
6. Heart breaks only lead you closer to what is meant to be.
A lot of time I would get emotionally invested in a job that I applied for or a company that I was interning with, and this only made it that much harder when I didn’t get offered an opportunity.
Just remember that your time there or interview process taught you something along the way and was worth it for the experience alone. More importantly, you made connections along the way. So take a breath and remember that rejection from an application or full time position only leads you closer to which job you’re meant to be at.
7. There are plenty of fish in the sea-- go after the ones even out of your league.
Opportunities are everywhere. You will find your right fit eventually, but it will take time. Exhaust your search by asking people you know, checking out company websites, and looking at online job listings. Even if you think you don’t have enough experience, apply anyway. That company may not have found a perfect candidate yet, and they may be willing to invest time in you to get you up to par for the position (it happened to me!).
8. Dating doesn’t mean marriage.
Most importantly, just because you chose a first job or first internship, doesn’t mean you have to sign your life away to that company forever. Not everyone stays at their first job for more than 3 years in today’s world. Take time to get the experience and if it doesn’t feel right, move on.
Like they say, "It's not you, it's me,"