If you’re reading this blog regularly, you’re probably well aware of the fact that I lost my mind and decided to turn my life upside down HERE, NOW and IN ALL ASPECTS AT THE SAME TIME. Well, I might have gotten a bit carried away. And one of the elements to this master plan of destruction was finding a new job.
My mum always says I am the luckiest thing in the world when it comes to interviews and such; and since my general life luck is well described by my affiliation with black cats I’d rather blame it on some internal charm that only activates when I am wearing a suit. It does make my job hunting adventures sweet and short though – surely I am holding some sort of record for this by now – so I thought, you know, it’s time to share my big secret with the world.
The only problem is… There is really no secret? Just a bunch of stumbling in the dark and wondering what will stick.
Before we start
This may sound a bit preachy, so feel free to move on, but there is one thing I always try to remember while on my quest for a new job.
I am and I have always been very fortunate to be in a position when I could afford to just leisurely look for a new job. You know, from the comfort of my sofa, while sipping on a nice tea and all. This is not the case for a great many people.
Every time a rejection comes through, especially if it is something I really wanted, it hurt; but then I would remind myself that the very fact I am able to apply for some of these jobs is not something that was given to me by the Universe and given to all the other people, really. It puts the whole process into a very different perspective.
So – if you’re like me, comfortable and stable overall, just looking for new adventures, good for you!
But if you are struggling and feeling like desperation is slowly knocking at your door, there is one very important advice I have for you, and it is a blatantly obvious one – please, stay safe.
Finding a new job should not be emotional
This leads me nicely to the first of many things we often forget while trying to find a new job – turning off our emotions.
When times get real tough, this may seem like an impossible feat and may even turn out to be one. But often times are not as tough as they seem – and instead of real life dangers such as unpaid bills and all we are motivated to find a new job by is a simple dislike of the old one.
Okay, I get it. Most of us have worked in places we detested with a burning passion. I have had a fair share of these myself and I am (almost) 26. But these feeling do spiral down very quickly and turn into nothing else than desperation to get out, here, now, immediately, just out.
This is not a mind-set that encourages good decision making and the most likely scenario will take us from bad to worse, or at least from bad to not good enough.
While trying to find a new job, it is important to just let go. Things happened. We all get it. But the entire point of moving on is for these things not to repeat themselves – and anger will stop us from noticing all the small red flags waving around before signing a new contract.
Your employer needs to impress you too
Too often while trying to find a new job we completely forget that, well, the job needs to be good for us as well. I am guilty of this sin; and I am sure plenty of you can relate.
We live in a world where hundreds of online articles will claim how important it is for us to make the right impression, to follow the rules and guidelines, to do this and not that, to fashion ourselves in a way that makes us no more than a piece of meat to sell.
But at the end of the day our job needs to satisfy us as well. If we get too bogged down with impressing the employer, we can easily forget they need to impress us to. And I am not just talking about salaries and benefits.
No. We often brush over rude interviewers, people not getting back to us quickly and wasting our time, little inconveniences, re-booked appointments and all that jazz. Sure, these can be understandable – but there is a limit as to how much we should take.
If the interview process is so bad, imagine how bad working there may be!
This especially applies to rude interviewers. They may be a one-off case in the whole company, but just think about it, should their co-workers not be worried about their manners and send someone else? What does it say about the atmosphere there? Do you really want to work with someone who, I don’t know, thinks all women belong in the kitchen…?
Not even kidding. These people still exist.
There is no Golden Rule
I have been fortunate enough to work at many places where the people who take the decisions on who will get hired have let me have a peek into their thinking processes. Yes, I know that curiosity killed the cat, but I just cannot help it. I love listening to people speak about things they are good at.
But every person I spoke to about it has their own set of rules. Even things as straight-forward as a CV cannot follow one pattern. Some people like everything to be on one page. Some like it spread across 5. Some like a photo. Some hate a photo. Some would like to see a little snippet telling them who you are. Some just want dates and facts.
Truth is: no one has a clue.
It is a real guessing game; you give us a piece of yourself and we’ll guess if we like it. Sure, spelling things correctly and not going full on Comic Sans probably helps but…
Would you like to work for a company that rejected you on the basis of your font choice?
Same goes for clothes, attitude, actual level of experience and what sort of pancakes you like. Employers are just people and as no two people are alike, no two employers will have the same expectations. Forget the wonderful guidelines you find online. There is no cookie cutter job finding experience. Sorry.
Finding a new job is just about you
You know, I really hate this quote about loving me at my worst leading to deserving me at my best, what a crazy attitude, but to some extend it does apply to finding a new job.
Sure, you cannot show up at your worst… But at the end of the day most employers hire a personality and pretending or even straightforward lying about things will get you nowhere. Well, it may get you into the job, but it sure as hell won’t help you dealing with it. Especially the lying part.
It is nice to dress up and pretend to be someone else for a day, but it is better to dress up just a little bit and go on to meet the people you will work with. Get to know them. Sure, there is always the awkward business of complimenting yourself on all the great stuff you have been doing, but the more sincere you are about the whole thing, the easier you will make it for yourself in the future with your new company.
You see, rejections are soul crushing. But some rejections are a blessing in disguise. They help us avoid all those jobs we hate. And if some of our mannerisms are a deal breaker for our potential employer even before we are hired, sooner or later that clash would have happened anyway even if we hid them real well during the interview.