10 Important Things I learned While Job Hunting

Monday, June 5, 2017

This post has been sitting around in my drafts for the longest time. I'm glad I'm able to post it this time around, though, because I kept adding and subtracting points until I have come up with a list that I am fully satisfied with. Stick around to read my thoughts!

  1. You're all the same; you're all starting from the bottom. Never think so highly of yourself and just know that the person next to you who is waiting to be interviewed has an equal opportunity of getting the job as you do.
  2. Be real. I guess this is what I realized when I was given time to relay to them my previous experiences. Rather than crafting well-made sugar-coated nice sounding sentences to please your interviewers, they will be more interested when you show them who you are and how your past experiences have formed you into the person who is sitting in the office right at that very moment. Only you know yourself, and you're basically letting them know who you are, not what you have crafted yourself to be.

    How did your experiences help you become who you are today? What drives you? How can you contribute to the company? 
  3. Know and accept your weaknesses. They are not something to be ashamed of. Everyone has their own limits, and the company recognizes that no one is perfect. So instead of focusing mostly on your strengths, while it is so much easier to stick to what you know best about yourself, allow yourself to think back and reflect on past failures and how you dealt with them. Allow yourself to think of what you're not really confident about and how you can improve or turn it into an opportunity for learning.

    Remember a time when you failed and share with them how you turned the situation around, or the steps you took in improving from that experience. Dealing with failures and mistakes are the best opportunities for growth. What did you realize after? What do you think you can do better next time?
  4. Different industries have different styles and hiring processes. One cannot fully anticipate how the process will go, but respect that process and do your best nonetheless. It also helps to research on the company before going to the interview. This can be done through the company website or through people who have worked there.

    What are the values of the company? What is their purpose? How is their work environment like? Which industry interests you most? 
  5. There is no such thing as an easy job. Rather than shrinking back by the look of the job description, you will never know unless you try. So pass that resume, attend the interviews, and see how it will go. Results require action. Just think that this is the real world, this is you preparing for the future, and taking concrete steps towards it.

    Remember that you are being paid for the work that you render. Dealing with difficult tasks also helps in honing your skills. What skills do you want to hone?
  6. Do not be afraid to send in as many applications as you can. At first, I would send them to few companies. But then responses take a while, and the waiting game was taking its toll on me. It was only when I realized that months have already passed that I started sending my resume to as many companies as I could. Even if there is no visible opening, just take your chances. It never hurts to try.

    Attend job expos, send your resume through their HR email, go through all job portals, and let recruiters know you are hunting for a job. Which job portal website is best known in your country? <- I'm actually curious about this one too. You can share on the comments below!!
  7. You will be rejected and you will be okay. There were many instances when I thought 'this is it!' but it was not. And it made me feel bad because I invested my time in waiting and hoping and thinking that they wanted me, but in the end it did not work out. Just know that it did not work out on their end, or that there is another company wherein you will be the best fit. Always remember that they are looking for the best fit.

    What kind of qualities or specific skill set is required by the company? 
  8. While companies are trying to see if you're the best fit, find out if this company will help you advance your career goals. It's important to know if you can see yourself in this company and if you can see yourself performing well in this company for long term. While it is true one cannot know yet because they haven't experienced actually working for a day in the company, it is good to have an idea by doing research, and asking questions during the interview. It is very important to prepare questions for the interviewer as well. You would want to know what you are getting yourself into.

    Will the experience and the training be aligned with your career goals? What kind of skills do you want to develop through your time in the company? 
  9. Do not be afraid to follow up. This does not hurt the hiring process in any way. I think recruiters appreciate this and they will see that the candidate is truly interested in the role whenever the candidate inquires about their status.

    Just make sure to do it at a reasonable time, around one-two weeks after the interview. Make sure it is through email, and that it is sent in the morning. It's best to get closure, too.
  10. Life is not a race. While I admit it can be pressuring when everyone around you is already employed or has been earning experience, you have to remind yourself that you're on your own now. What you do, how long it takes to start, you are on your own and you do it your way and no one can impose anything on you because we all have our own pace. The best thing to do is to respect each others' pace. 
That's mostly it. These are thoughts that came to me while waiting in line to be interviewed, while inside the commuter van, while walking around the streets of the city, and while lying down on my bed staring at the ceiling.

Personal Reflection

This time has made me realize many things about myself, about what I want, about, about making the most of my time, and about waiting. I learned about waiting for the best, and now I know the value of what was given to me. I know throughout the time of waiting, I was constantly being broken and molded back again so as to change my mindset entirely and to prepare me for what is yet to come. I am not at the mercy of people, but I continued to hold on to God who provides the best opportunities in His time, even though there were days I was filled with anxiety.

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

God knows our desires, and He knows when best to grant it. God is faithful, and He has given me strength to crush that anxiety and unbelief under my feet.

Do not lose heart, dear reader. God Bless in your job hunt!

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