Learn my roller coaster journey of being in the workforce, increasing my income, & how you can prepare for moving ahead and getting in the door
Listen to the full podcast episode here :
Hey guys! Thanks again for tuning into My Rough Draft!
I missed you guys last week! I had every intention of posting an episode. But, as I mentioned in the previous episode, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on what direction I want to go in for 2020.
Specifically, with the podcast, I’ve gone back and forth on where I wanted the focus to be this year. Whether that be on faith and purpose, sharing our stories, work, and business, etc. Whether I wanted it to be more interview-based or more-so, giving practical tips & resources.
But, the more I tried to separate the topics, the more I realize that they all truly go together.
As young professionals, one of the most significant ways we can activate and increase our faith and go deeper in our purpose is through our career and business. We often achieve our own goals or embrace where we are by listening and learning to each others’ stories and practical tips.
So, today we’re talking about navigating the job search journey in 2020.
And my intent on this episode isn’t just about helping you find your dream job because your dream job will change over time…
It’s also about helping us all better understand the current season of our careers, and the bigger role this season plays into our purpose.
When I did an end of the year survey last year, 100% of you said you wanted to grow in your career in 2020.
So for this week, I want to share with you my stories and tips when it comes to JOB SEARCHING!
This week, we’re solely talking about applying to jobs. I also want to get into interviewing and how to be most successful in your current position.
We’re probably going to do a part TWO next week, but we’ll get thru as much as we can today.
I also have a pretty big announcement at the end of today’s episode, so be sure to stay until the end!
Alright, enough rambling …let’s get into today’s episode.
To sum up my work history over the past 10 years
- I’ve held about 7 titles, some simultaneously
- I’ve successfully increased my income about 5x more than what I was making when I first entered the workforce full-time 6 years ago.
Throughout my work experience
- I’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree
- Masters degree
- Certification in Lean Six Sigma
- Certification in project management.
So, that’s the highlight reel right?
Now for the real…
Even with my education and experience, finding a job has never come easy for me.
Even with having a beautiful resume, I sometimes found it very difficult to get in the door.
And, if I’m being honest, I sometimes settled on lesser pay or less than ideal positions out of impatience versus being intentional. Thankfully, it all still worked together for my good!
I’ve been the person going door to door to businesses handing out my resume.
I’ve been the person applying randomly to a bunch of jobs.
I’ve been the person interviewing for jobs I knew I didn’t want.
I’ve cried daily about my job, my career, etc.
Point blank – I’ve been desperate when it comes to job searching. That’s with the degree that was supposed to solve all my problems, right?
Along my job search journey, I’ve found some helpful tips both practically and from a mindset perspective that would help anyone. So, let’s get into those tips.
DISCLAIMER: These are tips I’ve learned from my OWN experience for myself and those I work with. Use these tips at your own risk. 🙂
ONE | You have to invest on the front end to get in the door & make the process easier in the end.
Many times, we aimlessly apply to positions instead of taking the time to ensure our application stands out and matters.
For every open position, there are 1000’s of applicants.
Many times, by the time the job is posted on an online network, they have already begun the interviewing process internally.
I know it’s tempting to just aimlessly apply.
But, it’s more valuable to take the time to prepare your resume and cover letter in a strategic yet quick and timely fashion.
There’s a tight window you need to apply to an open position. The sooner, the better. Typically I advise people to apply to a job within 72 hours of its posting if possible.
To make your application even matter, have a resume and cover letter that’s tailored to the keywords in the job description. Include references and samples when possible.
I’ve been in interviews where recruiters and hiring managers have said verbatim that my resume aligned perfectly with what they’re looking for. Or that they were intrigued by the story I provided in my cover letter.
Even though I didn’t have as much experience as others applying, it was my tailored resume and cover letter that showed my pre-commitment to that job.
And you may say well that’s too much work, but there’s an art to it.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Create a working template.
- Get clear on the industry you want
- Get clear on the job title you want
- Then, create a template resume and cover letter based on those specifics.
When you apply to a company within that industry or go to look for open positions for that title, you can easily tailor or change-up the wording based on the company and/or job description.
The key to creating a tailored resume is to add words, language, and key takeaways from the job description into your resume.
In your cover letter, paint the picture. Tell the story of how your experience and commitment to the industry, job, and company align perfectly with what the hiring manager is looking for.
Provide specific examples, list additional experience, and add specifics about the company and why you want to work for the company.
In summary :
You want to ensure your resume is:
- Easy to read and tailored to the job description
- Shows results / Quantifies accomplishments / Uses power words
You want to ensure your cover letter:
- Tells a story
- Gives specific examples
- Shows your research of the job and the company
This takes time, which is why I’m giving you this information now so you can prepare.
TWO | Be intentional and strategic about where you apply & what you apply to.
When I was in my desperate stage, I would go on a company site and apply to every single position I saw.
I soon found out that doing this was a big No-No.
This may not apply to every company, but you have to think about it.
Most companies have an HR dept that has recruiters work multiple postings.
When you apply on a company website, you can typically view all of the jobs you apply to.
Well, guess what? Others can too.
And, I’ve found that sometimes recruiters are turned off by seeing a bunch of applications, especially when they’re random.
So, when you have the dream company you want to work for, keep your ideal job titles in mind.
Only apply for jobs you’re specifically interested in and ensure they have a common theme.
That way, if I’m a recruiter, and I see you’ve applied to project management positions in different depts, then I know okay you want to get into project management. Project Management is your expertise.
However, if you’re applying to customer service positions, project management positions, sales positions, director positions, then it’s unclear what you want. This doesn’t look good to a recruiter who’s looking for an expert in a particular area.
It’s better to apply to ONE – TWO positions within the company that is tailored to what you actually want.
Sacrificing your reputation with an entire company because you’re just applying to everything you see.
THREE | Search for a job while you have one. Look for internal opportunities first. Prepare for a 6 -12 month process.
DISCLAIMER AGAIN 🙂 : This is from my experience. You’ll need to pray and ask what God is specifically asking you to do. I don’t know your situation or the company to work for. I also know that especially in smaller companies, advancement is not always possible. I’ve experienced that as well.
When searching for a job while you have a job, you’re more likely to be strategic, specific, and less desperate.
Before even applying, you need to evaluate your needs: the salary you need, the work environment you need, the title you need, etc.
God honors our faithfulness with little. He honors our patience and endurance through tests and trials.
So like it or not, your job searching journey is going to be a JOURNEY.
For my job advancements that happened within the same company or even the same department, it still took 6-9 months to even get the promotion officially.
When applying outside of my company, it sometimes took even a year to start getting offers finally.
And that’s with my education. That’s with more experience than some of my peers since I’ve been working since I was 15. That’s with knowing how to write resumes and cover letters.
It still took time.
I know sometimes we’re tempted to just take steps of faith and quit.
And if God is telling you to jump, then what He says is more important than what I say.
But, for those who are simply trying to jump out of pure impatience, just wait for a minute and think.
From experience, I’ve learned that it’s better to wait for the right opportunity than to jump into something and be worse off than when you started.
In 2018, I was with a company I liked. But it wasn’t making enough money to really live. I was pretty much just making ends meet and even having to incur debt to do that.
I finally had gotten my masters, and I was looking to advance.
I was struggling within my company to move up, and my department didn’t really have any more room for what I really wanted to do.
And I was desperate.
Desperate for a better life financially.
Desperate for having the opportunity to actually do what I was passionate about and what I went to school for.
Desperate to be challenged.
Desperate for someone to give me a chance.
And over time, some opportunities did come.
Opportunities came within my company.
Some were ideal, money was good, and the title was what I wanted, but I didn’t get the job. That happened multiple times.
Then, other opportunities came. They were similar to what I was already doing, and the money wasn’t much more than what I was making.
And because I was desperate, I almost took an opportunity I knew wouldn’t work just to get out of my current situation.
And you know when you’re ready to leave somewhere, then everything becomes unbearable, right?
You were happy when you got the job, but then when it’s time to go, you just can’t take it anymore.
I was about to leave and get locked into another dead end opportunity because I didn’t want to wait. I had made up in my mind that my current job was my worst enemy.
So, I had to take a step back and really evaluate what I wanted.
And, I ended up declining the lesser opportunities to wait for God’s best.
And over time (& by over time I mean months), God would give me an opportunity past the timeline I had in my head.
That opportunity would pay more than any of the other dream jobs I had interviewed for but was denied. That opportunity would give me flexibility, challenge me, & provide the career advancement I was really looking for.
God made a way.
It was a job I had honestly forgot I applied for. And, the process wasn’t smooth. The interview process was quite rigorous, and I still didn’t know how it would turn out in the end. But it happened. God walked me through it.
So don’t think that the God opportunity is just going to come without the need for you to work.
It’s not going to just fall in your lap.
That’s why I’m giving you these tools to do it the right way. Do what you can. Be excellent in what you can. And trust God to either take care of the rest or move you in a different direction.
So as some rapid-fire, last-minute tips of what I did while waiting for the right opportunity
- I stayed in prayer
- Got my resume critiqued multiple times
- Honed in on my skill set and spent time learning new skills via online courses that would make me more competitive.
- Set a goal of applying for 5-10 jobs a week
- Looked for job fairs and relevant networking events in the area.
- Planned ahead to line up my references
- Maintained status quo and became more faithful with where I currently was
- Practiced interviewing before being offered an interview
- Made the daily decision not to take the rejection personally.
- Key Word — Daily Decision. Being rejected from jobs can make you feel like you’re not good enough. So again, keep going in prayer and lay that before God.
Now for me, as a writer, it was reasonably easy coming up with my resume and tailoring it to job descriptions and cover letters.
I also recognize that it may not be this way for others.
Some of you, writing just isn’t your expertise, it’s not your strong suit, or you just real life don’t have the time.
So! For those of you serious about moving ahead in your career and need some extra assistance, I’m opening up my schedule & skills just for you.
For a limited time, I’ll be offering resume and cover letter writing services 1 on 1 at affordable rates tailored to your experience and budget.
With my career coaching and writing services:
- You’ll receive complimentary career coaching calls from me
- A tailored resume and cover letter
- Templates to help you with the interview process
- And more!
So, if you’re interested in learning more, click here: https://theroughdraftcollective.com/work-with-us/
If you’re ready to go ahead and get started, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can book your first free 30-minute call with me!
I’m committed to helping you actually walk this rough draft out.
Yes, we embrace where we are.
But at some point, we have to allow the editing process to take place.
We have to begin taking steps towards becoming that bestseller and that masterpiece. Doing this for your career is going to be one of the most vital steps you take in life.
Your career can impact your way of life, your legacy, and what you can do for the Kingdom. Your career is a part of your ministry, given it’s where you spend a lot of your time.
So I want to come alongside you and help you make your career one that you would dream of!
So again if you’re interested in working 1 on 1 with me, then email us or click here to learn more: https://theroughdraftcollective.com/work-with-us/
That’s all for this week!
Next week, we’re going to talk through interview prepping!
I hope you all will join me then!
Have a great week!