Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If the Job Fits, Wear it!

Continued from a previous post...

There isn’t a job out there that isn’t worth interviewing for, there isn’t any opportunity that isn’t worth investigating. Maybe I’ll wind up with a job in a completely new industry. Maybe I’ll wind up in the same industry, in a position I never thought I’d be interested in. The point is, if someone posted it on job search engine then someone is going to get hired for it. You don’t know that it can’t be you until you apply and interview to the best of your ability.

Tips I’ve learned along the way:

1. Know the company your interviewing for. Anything can be googled or wiki-ed. Know SOMETHING before you agree to a phone or in-person interview.

2. Practice answers to commonly asked questions. You should always have answers prepared for the following:

a. 5/10 year career goals
b. best and worst personal attributes (in the workplace NOT your personal life)
c. best and worst work experience (sometimes leads to question about the ideal boss, work environment, schedule)
d. always prepare examples of problems you solved in the work place, obstacles you’ve overcome, or poor experiences you’ve learned from
i. if you’re interviewing within an industry you’ve previously worked in, make these examples specific to that industry—be relatable to the interviewer
e. what can you bring to the company your interviewing with—special personal qualities such as work ethic, ability to multi-task, detail orientation, and make sure ONE quality you mention is specific to you. Generic answers are exactly that—employers have heard them all hundreds of times

3. Dress the part. Researching the company should give insight on how to dress for your interview. Although business and professional dress is ALWAYS a must, changing it up to suit the type of business your interviewing with can make an impression (adding personal style, skirt vs. pants, keeping it very conservative—all varies with the company).

4. FOLLOW UP. Make sure you have the contact info of at least one person interviewing you per company. You should ALWAYS follow-up an interview with a thank-you email, and relate back to the employer something you discussed in the interview that makes you perfect for the job.

It may be ironic for now how much I’ve learned about interviewing, researching, and applying for jobs since I still haven’t actually been offered one. But, when I am; it will all be worth the wait. That’s the second life lesson I’ve endured. When the time is right it will come. When it is meant to happen it will happen. Just the same way life goes on, whether you’re ready for it to or not; YOUR life will pick back up. Somehow.

"The Steps" Contributor

Fake It Like You Mean It

I started my new job a few weeks ago and I am loathing the adjustment period. It's easy to forget your first few weeks/months at a new job previous to the current one, simply because they are completely different. I'm a perfectionist and I strive on a routine. Throw a wrench in the mix and I'm discombobulated for days. So far, it's been several. I have been "emotionally" eating and constantly saying "yes" to the Bossman when he asks to take me to lunch or buy me lunch. I haven't found my balance with this job yet and it's starting to take its toll.

During my work day I contemplate many scenarios of my life and how they could turn out and which one will make me the happiest. And I got nothin'. I can think of a few possibilities but neither make me jump for joy. The realist in me sees the flaws in my potential plans, not letting the dreamer in me have any fun. Also during my work day, actual work is interspersed, I wonder if I am really cut out for my job...and if I actually like my job.

I hope once the dust settles and the smoke clears I will be able to make an informed decision on what to do next. Hopefully I will be granted with that choice. Until then I'm pretending I know what I'm doing. And I think I'm doing a damn good job.