In my last blog post, Job Seeker Success Survey Results Are Out!, I reviewed some of the most and least effective thoughts and actions taken by job seekers. As promised in last week’s article, here’s a story from a client who turned his thinking around from negative to positive and took actions that quickly led to a highly desired job offer. You can create a similar success! Here is his story, as he relates it:
Commitment, Investment, Learning
My job search began in May 2012, and kicked into high gear in July 2012 as my MBA degree was imminent. As the search began, my thoughts wandered at my current position, admittedly at the expense of my work production; I knew the end was near and this was NOT the company I wanted to build a career with. I had waited patiently for almost 4 years for my opportunity to jump into something I love. I was not going to find a quick fix and take anybody who would have me. I was willing to wait and find the perfect job with the perfect company.
I began to devour any and all reading material regarding job searching. I happened upon How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn® Profile and read it on the plane to my wedding in Florida. I enlisted the help of The Essay Expert and things got really serious. Not only did I feel I had responsibility to myself, my family, and my new bride, but now I was even more heavily invested, emotionally and financially, in finding that “new beginning.” I received a LinkedIn® makeover, resume makeover and two cover letters that were easily customized to any job I was applying for.
Challenges Arise – and Some Disempowering Self-Talk
I figured I’d be hired in no time with the perfect company. Nobody had a better LinkedIn® profile, nobody had a better resume, nobody had written a more perfect cover letter. I do sales for a living, so thought interviews would be a BREEZE for a charismatic guy like myself. I was wrong. Those perfect jobs I found? … I received rejection emails without even an interview. I complained, “Don’t they know how hard I’ve worked and all the years I’ve put in to making myself the ‘perfect candidate’?”
After suffering for a few weeks, I wrote to Brenda Bernstein, The Essay Expert, who suggested I hire a career coach. She connected me with Kristin Johnson. At this point I had a choice: continue to invest in myself or do it on my own and get the mediocre results I was already getting.
I decided to invest in myself because in this job search process you begin to really doubt yourself. With Kristin’s help, I began to figure out who I am and what my brand is. I had heard the term “branding” before and thought it was a junk statement made by airheads in Hollywood. Then I came to a realization: I don’t know how to express who I am! I could sell anybody on anything but I couldn’t sell myself. I again began to devour literature on interviewing. Working with Kristin I learned how to sell myself to achieve my goals.
I put my nose to the grindstone. I gained 20 pounds, refusing to go to the gym in the effort to squeeze out more job searching time [Editor’s note: I do not necessarily recommend this strategy! Many people succeed because they DO go to the gym!]. I emailed, called and met with anybody I could to get connected with a potential job. I was always looking for an angle to make a connection. I poured more hours into my job search, and what were once great cover letters became one-page works of art that took hours for me to construct. Miraculously, doors began to open. I started getting calls for phone and in-person interviews. By trial and error I began to learn how to navigate these encounters.
With every interview I felt myself improving and gaining confidence. I dedicated myself to reading self-help books, mostly from Dale Carnegie, and took this knowledge to interviews. Doors began to open wider–companies were offering me jobs! I went from praying for an interview to turning down positions because they just didn’t fulfill all my needs. I was being looked at by one of the most luxurious and iconic hotels in New York City. A leader in the online travel agency was flying me out to their headquarters to meet with a panel of interviewers. A company I had turned down for a lower position offered me a management position. A complete 180 occurred!
Winning the Game
The search finally concluded in November 2012, after 6 months of relentless searching and networking. I accepted a position at a hospitality organization that is worthy of my talents and skills. A tremendous amount of time and effort was poured into this process and I got by with a little help from my new friends.
Do you have a successful job search story to share? Please leave a comment below!