I have been teaching people how to do an effective job search for over 20 years now. Some would say that makes me an expert. Today I admit that it definitely took me a long time to get to this point, and it wasn’t without some bumps in the road. We learn from our mistakes, right?
Let’s look at my first real job interview. I was lucky enough to land an interview with Trane Company, which as most of you know, is a highly respected company locally. The gentleman who interviewed me and gave me a tour of the facilities was kind and respectful. I was scared to death! I was doing my very best to show respect by not saying much, and by hiding my enthusiasm. Did you catch that? I was “quiet” and “hid my enthusiasm.” Two things that one definitely does NOT do during a job interview! What was I thinking!
The answer is that I was not thinking. I was not putting myself into the shoes of the interviewer. I did not prepare enough for the job interview. I did not think to myself. Hmm, I wonder what they are looking for when they hire for this position? I had not read up on how to do an effective job search and I had not looked into whether there was someone that could help me out in my college’s career services department. Plainly, I DID NOT prepare for the interview.
My third interview was not much better. By this time in my job search I was using self talk that is no doubt familiar to some of you. “I am not good enough or I would gave been hired by now.” or “I will never find a job!” And other negative statements (I am sure you can imagine).
Little did I know that job seeking is all about the odds. You can look at job seeking almost as you would look at gambling. It is all in the odds.
Eventually through my employment experience I learned to: “Apply, apply, apply, It takes 10 applications to land one interview and 5 interviews to land the job. (Numbers vary depending on where you are doing the job search and what the economy is like at the time!). And never give up! Refuse to be one of those discouraged job seekers! Realize that you must apply for jobs where your skills match what they are looking for. Realize that you may have to start out in an entry level position at a company just to get your foot in the door.
What an education does for you is give you the credentials to move up the ladder more quickly. Those without an education beyond high school (even one term can make a difference), struggle to advance in the work place.
So are you wondering what happened? Whether I landed that job? As I mentioned, my interview performance wasn’t all that better. I was so discouraged already however that I went in thinking that I would not get the job, so I might as well relax and look at it as a practice. Well, for me that worked! I was so sincere and so honest while I answered questions that the hiring manager later shared with me that he hired me due to my integrity. He valued complete honesty and somehow during the interview discovered that I was a farm girl. We are known for being hard workers. Landing that job, with that particular employer was just the beginning for the many training opportunities that were to come. I worked hard, learned the importance of lifelong learning, grew within that position and transitioned into many other positions after that, learning and growing and adding to my education as I went.
One final point before I end this post. Above I mention being “so discouraged already.” It was the third job I had applied for, my second interview and I was discouraged already?!? That is crazy! But like I said, I was not knowledgeable about what it took to do an effective job search. If I had understood the odds, I would not have set my expectations so very high. I now know that the best thing you can do for your brain, is program it to believe that a “no” is nothing personal…..that many no’s lead to an eventual “yes!” and that one must simply continue to plug along and apply for as many positions as what you are qualified for. The job offer WILL come. It is just a matter of time.