As a recent college graduate, I know firsthand how stressful the job search can be. The entire process can be grueling, and the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic add another layer of complexity. In my experience, I learned that consistent effort and a refusal to “settle” paid off, eventually landing me my dream job.
Are you on the search for a position that will launch your career?
Here are 4 of the most important things I learned while on the job hunt:
1. Be Picky
Identify key things you are looking for in your career and understand what kinds of employment situations you are trying to avoid.
In my own job search, I was still unsure of what exactly I wanted to do, but I did know that I didn’t want a “stepping-stone” position that would not be an effective use of my time. I also didn’t want to get hired into a company with a “chew ‘em up and spit ‘em out” mentality, or high turnover.
I was given offers and opportunities early on in my search, but I was specific in evaluating what organization I was willing to give 40+ hours of my time to every week. Overall, I was looking for a position in an organization with clear long-term potential. I wanted the opportunity to see the early investment of my time and effort pay off later in my career.
2. Be ‘Active’ in Your Job Search
What does it mean to be “actively searching?”
For me, actively searching meant scouring job boards, setting up phone calls with people in my network to learn more about what they do, and interviewing at as many places as possible — all the while searching for something that aligned with my goals and values.
Many places I interviewed stood out as jobs while I was looking for a career.
While some offered a competitive salary and earning potential for an entry-level candidate, these companies all lacked the opportunity for growth and a collaborative team atmosphere that I was looking for. I figured if I didn’t love the position before I even started, I would end up back on the job-hopping train in the near future.
Eventually, the perfect opportunity fell into my lap through a personal connection from my hometown. It would be easy for someone to look at my countless hours of searching job boards, driving to interviews, and tapping into multiple possible professional networks as a waste of time, but I would have to disagree. It was only by speaking with dozens of companies that I was able to identify what I really wanted through a process of elimination.
By leaving no stone unturned, eventually, I was able to strike gold.
3. Look for Growth Potential
If you’re searching with a “career mindset”, that generally means you are looking for long-term placement, and a position that includes opportunities for growth. This could mean anything from role advancement, professional development, or promotions. Identify the areas of growth potential that you would like to see offered by your next employer.
I wanted to work with a company that was growing in an industry that was expanding. I wanted to have the potential for advancement within the organization via promotions. Most of all, I wanted to be in a situation that provided me with the opportunity to develop and grow not only as a professional but as a whole person.
4. Play for a Championship Team
Generally, you will find that the people in your life can make a big impact on your outlook. If your working hours are surrounded by coworkers, it’s important to join a team that encourages and supports you, and drives you towards success.
For me, it was important to be a contributor on a team that was doing work I could be passionate about. I wanted to be surrounded by people who wanted to win. I wanted to be in a collaborative environment where employees had to work together to perform at a high level. I needed the organization’s leadership to be transformational coaches. I desired to be surrounded by like-minded individuals pursuing goals bigger than themselves. I wanted to surround myself with the people I wanted to be like the most to learn from and jumpstart my career.
In short, I wanted to work with a “championship team.”
I am a firm believer in the idea that we create a large amount of our success through hard work and perseverance. If I had not maintained a consistent effort, I never would have been presented with the opportunity of working at Versique. I say that the opportunity fell into my lap, but in reality, it was the result of months of hard work and countless conversations.
Versique Can Accelerate Your Job Search!
I found success in starting my own career by being highly selective, remaining active in the process, searching for a company I could grow with, and ultimately joining a championship-level team. I am confident these four tips will enhance your career transition, just as it did for me!