You guys, looking for a job is hard.
I think I’m doing it right. I’m reaching out to people, doing informational interviews, following up (even when it feels pushy), writing beautiful cover letters (if I do say so myself), applying for jobs (not as many as I should because beautiful cover letters take time) that sound interesting even if I don’t meet all of the qualifications listed (or if I look overqualified on paper). I read the advice columns. I follow up (almost) every lead I hear about. I bought a brand new suit and I showed up 20 minutes early for my latest interview at a staffing agency. I’ve set the ground work.
Now, I’m supposed to keep on keeping on. More applications, more informational interviews, more waiting. I’m supposed to be patient. Hiring takes time, I’m told, more time than anyone on either side of the process wants it to take. I could get an interview for a job I applied for three months ago. I could have an interview next week and get a job offer in August. It’s my job to be persistent and patient.
Persistence? I’ve got that. If I’ve gained anything from my PhD candidacy, it’s dogged persistence. I might kvetch, cry, and procrastinate, but I’ll keep at it. But patience? I was born without that particular gift. I look at my calendar filling up with informational interviews and wonder when one of them will turn into a real interview. I look at my bank account and wonder how low it’s going to get. I jump when the phone rings or the gmail notification chimes: maybe this is it. I am not patient. I want a job and I want it yesterday.
And yet, enough promising things are happening that, despite some days being full of fear and doubt and grouchiness, I’m optimistic. One of the ballsy (well, it seems ballsy to me but might just be assertive to normal people) things I did yesterday just paid off. I got an email from a person in a position of power about my application for a job at a company I’ve always wanted to work for. It’s not an interview, but it is my resume getting hand delivered to someone instead of being left to an HR system scanning for keywords. That’s a shot of adrenaline, to be sure.
So things are happening. And maybe I’ll get a job offer before the money runs out. But in the meantime, I’m going to have to learn how to enjoy the ride.