Looking for a job could be a long and painful journey. You have to keep going even when it is getting you down. But if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else (including the recruiters)? We could learn a lot from the story of Liana, my talented Russian friend. She recently got a job as an Account Manager at the Boston office of Ve Interactive Inc.
I decided to contribute my story to encourage those who are desperately looking for jobs right now, and it seems that there is no end to rejections and there is no hope left. I have been through all of this recently.
I know how it feels to first get sad then sarcastic about receiving a formal e-mail praising me, then saying that they decided to proceed with someone else. You then think: Am I that bad and stupid? The answer is: No, you are not. It’s just not your time and it’s not your place.
I know how it feels when you go through several rounds of interview and talk to the VP and sort of think ‘yes, I got it’ and in 2 days you receive a formal e-mail (again) that they thought that another candidate had a better set of skills. In such cases everything stopped around me. I felt slapped and spat in the face. Honestly I couldn’t hold my tears. I broke down several times and the only thought that I had was: I am done, I am going back home where everybody loves me and thinks that I am the best. I gave myself a day to grieve over the lost opportunity, then I woke up next day and I understood I didn’t have a chance not to move on. I still wake up at night in a cold sweat trying to figure out my life and people who I should contact to get an interview.
Having gone through all this many times I can summarize my recommendations to people who haven’t still found their job here in the US:
1) Do not be afraid to ask people for help: reach out to people: to alums, to professors, to friends, to friends of friends, to anyone who can help. I applied online first, but quickly realized that it is not working that way. It is more comfortable to apply online for you, because you are sitting at home, before your lap top, you have your resume template and edited cover letter, but it is all standardized, it doesn’t actually tell much about you, your personality.
2) When reaching out to people, do not bluntly ask for interviews or helpful contacts, ask for advice: talk to them, listen to them, make conclusions and always, always thank them! People are busy, they don’t have to answer to your e-mail about an informational interview. They have their time and fifty thousand problems on their mind. The fact that they agreed to talk to you already means a lot. It’s the ocean, and it’s up to you to swim or to drown.
3) Always, always prepare for an interview and never lie when you do not know the right answer. It’s our nature to make excuses to make ourselves feel better.
4) Smile and be yourself. The hardest thing for me is to control my emotions, not to try to disguise them under a stupid smile or dumb jokes. You are nervous! It’s your career at stake! Try to breathe out and concentrate.
5) Surround yourself with genuinely loving and positive people. My family, my mentors and my absolutely fantastic boyfriend supported me at my lowest moments and never ever had doubts about me ending up with a job (unlike myself). I am truly blessed!
6) Never give up and eat yourself for losing this or that opportunity. You may be not fit for working in a huge bank on Wall Street in a depressing atmosphere and rigid code of behavior but you are a great fit for a smaller fast-developing tech company which appreciates your education, background and your personality.
I hope my advice didn’t bore you to death. I am eager to help anyone who needs help.
An Incoming Account Manager, Ve Interactive Inc, Boston.
P/s: I and Liana studied at the same business school. She is super hardworking and friendly! 🙂