True confession: I am unemployed. I’m in the midst of my job search and I think what I’ve learned along the way, along with what I’m still learning as I continue the process, will be of use to you when the time comes for you to start looking for a job.
A recent bit of advice I've learned particularly recently is: continue looking for and applying to jobs even after you have gotten an interview with one company. While looking for a job a few weeks out of college, I was lucky enough to get a group interview with one company. (This, by the way, I landed in part because one of my college acquaintances who had graduated early thought to recommend me for the position. So, as I said in my first post—network!)
Anyway, I was extremely nervous going in to the interview, especially since it was my first one. Once I got there I felt very comfortable and confident. I was pleasant, I was assertive, and I got along very well with the people with whom I interviewed. The very next day, I received an e-mail asking me to come back for a second interview the following week. I thought it was a great sign, and I went out to shop for an outfit for that interview. I was so consumed in all the positive feedback that I didn’t even consider applying to any jobs during that week off.
The second interview went off without a hitch, and I was positive that I got the position. I really connected with everyone and I knew they were impressed with my credentials. Now, all I had to do was wait to hear back from them. Again, I took the time off from applying to jobs. I was preoccupied with other things, including my sister’s graduation, my cousin’s wedding, and my boyfriend visiting, and, as I said, I thought I had the position. At the wedding, my cousin told me, “Listen, don’t stress if you don’t get the position. You’ve only been out of college for a month, so if it takes longer to find that perfect job, then it’s okay.” I thanked him, but still I thought I’d get the job.
I didn’t get the job. Then, not only was I upset that I didn’t get the job, I was upset that I had nothing else that would potentially come to fruition. I wasted a good amount of time in which I could have been continuing to look for positions.
Recently, interviewed at a different company to which I had applied. I took a written test and did very well on it, and I felt the woman with whom I spoke and I really clicked. Then I got a second phone interview. This time, as I was going through the interview process with this particular company, I didn’t stop looking for jobs. I kept sending in my résumé to those positions that applied to me.
I didn’t get that job, either. I really wanted it, so of course I wasn’t happy to not get the job. But, the thing was, this time I was more okay with it because I knew I hadn’t put all of my eggs in one basket.
The moral of the story (stories) is to keep on applying until you know, for certain, that you have a job. It doesn’t matter how far you get in the process or how confident you are, because, honestly, you never know who you’re up against or what the interviewers are thinking. There’s nothing to it but to do it.