Six Months, 10 Interviews, One Job

Finding work in marketing in Ontario is a mission. I’m confident in my skills and my experience and if I thought it would have taken me this long to find good work when I started looking six months ago, I might have cried myself to sleep every mid-afternoon.

That’s right, six months and 10 interviews, that’s what it took. Most of all it took reinventing the way I thought and shared information about myself.

I had to rebuild my social profiles, expand my friends list, blew up my LinkedIn and started over. I wracked my brain with new ways to explain what I do, where I’ve done it and with whom. I could fill a Suessian children’s book with rhyming couplets with the names and industries I applied to.

Whether it was because of my job search, or general serendipity, Linkedin decided to give me a free month of their premium Job Seeker account. There was something about knowing that my name would be at the top of a list instead of the bottom that gave me a little extra confidence.

Here is Frenzi also thinking about getting a job...
Here is Frenzi also thinking about getting a job…

Everyday for four weeks I was writing at least three cover letters and making minute changes to an InDesign document that I’d been using to build my resume. Sometimes I wouldn’t even send them out. I knew, after writing a cover letter for a job, whether or not I wanted to work for the company.

Somewhere in that time I decided to build an infographic talking about why I’m awesome, and BAM, I started landing interviews.

I asked interesting questions in my interviews, sometimes too many and felt more prepared than my interviewer, which was a bad sign.

Friends gave me a lot of advice and help. The old adage holds true, it isn’t about what you can do, but who you know. That adage stops making sense when a company tests you (as many do these days). Another term, “having the skills to pay the bills” also applies.

The best advice I got was from an entrepreneur who uses the fear of being out of money and not being able to support his family to drive him.

“When you are doing good work and working hard the universe will provide.” I’m paraphrasing but the lesson was accurate. When I was working hard to find work,  I got more contracts and landed more interviews. When I was reading and questioning my place in the world I got nowhere.

Sure, doing contract work has kept me sharp and job hunting is a job in itself, but if you’re not searching in an organized an systematic way, you’re doing it wrong.

I had a few close calls and near misses with potential employers. I find that in my (albeit slightly) advanced aged of 26, I can choose to be a little more picky with what organizations I work with.

This week I’ve started working for Randstad Canada. I’m in a new city, in a new job, in a national office of a multinational corporation. Wish me luck.

What are your job hunting tips? Share them with me @JamesRRubec.

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