Putting It Together: Finding a Job

Let’s return to Nadine from the beginning of the module, who was just planning her career path. She was lucky to have a steady job at her local grocery store as she took the time to find just the right job to meet her needs. Initially, she thought finding that new job would be so easy with her degree. As it turned out, looking for that career-type job took about as much time as going to school had.

A photograph of two women sitting at a table with drinks and notebooks on the tableWith some advice from the school career center (what a nice surprise to realize that she could go to both her community college and four-year college career centers; they accepted all alumni forever), she started to build her network. She started small, by attending a job fair on campus and the alumni baseball game gathering, which lead to going to a luncheon for women in business. From there, she met a couple of women to hang out with. That network helped her think about specific employers and job skills. Once she had a better handle on those items, those same groups helped her find leads to all several interviews.

While these initial contacts (and friends) didn’t call her up and ask her to work for them, they had ideas she had not thought about and helped her deepen her knowledge of the industry. Sometimes they would mention a company or a job they had heard was becoming available and then Nadine was able to¬†find it listed on LinkedIn. There she had applied, and had reached out to let those with connections to that company know she was interested. Frequently she got through to a phone interview. For those three big jobs she was really interested in, she was pretty sure it was not only her skills but the good words her new network put in for her that got her in the door.

While all that was going on, she had to write and rewrite her resume to match each opportunity. In two different college classes, she had prepared a resume and cover letter, which saved her a lot of time as she was able to use those documents as a starting point. As she applied to jobs, she tweaked and changed wording to really help her background stand out by matching criteria from the job advertisement.

decorative imageInterviewing was the hardest. After her first interview following graduation, she really wished she had practiced more. All the way home, she could hear herself stumble over answers that now, of course, as she drove away, she was phrasing so well in her head. By that final interview, with all those other experiences behind her, she was comfortable talking about her accomplishments as they would benefit this new company. This was one skill she vowed she would never let get rusty.

After a long search and a lot of work, Nadine was finally able to secure a job to get her started on her career path.