Job-hunting sucks. There, I said it. And, chances are, it’s something you’ve all thought plenty of times before during your own experiences with it.
To be more blunt with you, the past several months have brought on a hell of a lot of stress, uncertainty and haven’t been as exciting as I may have been giving off. Sure, being an entrepreneur and starting my own company has been thrilling, giving me flexibility and difficult tasks to overcome that challenge me in ways that a normal 9-to-5 might not. But, damn, when there comes adversity and bills need to be paid, it can lead to losing focus on what goals really want to be accomplished.
For instance, in the past six months, I’ve seen my salary cut nearly in half after taking the dive to gamble on myself and choose my own path. This has been an unbelievable ride, no doubt, but, when my bank account continues to feel dried up and progress isn’t always made with business ventures, it leads to disappointment, self-doubt and back to job-hunting, knowing that, just maybe, a steady paycheck and hustling on the side will satisfy my needs. Whether that happens, though, isn’t always that easy. In fact, it can become debilitating.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been job-hunting like crazy, applying to positions left and right, questioning my skills, experiences and leadership qualities with each “thanks for applying, but we’re going with a candidate that better suits our needs,” emails. The automated replies have become as routine as checking my personal email every 20 minutes to see if, maybe, somehow, I’ve scored an interview for a job I really want. Sadly, only a handful have been received.
The entire job-hunting process leaves a person scurrying for answers, wondering why he/she wasn’t selected for an interview when, deep down, you know you’re qualified. It makes you wonder if the online application malfunctioned and you were the one applicant out of thousands whose didn’t get processed correctly. It leaves you questioning whether or not the hiring manager even looked at it. It makes you compare yourself to others — a lot. In essence, job-hunting has become the ghosting of the professional world.
Well, want to know what I’ve found to be the most helpful thing when it comes to job-hunting? Relationships.
Of all the hours I’ve spent searching for jobs, applying to jobs, catering my resume and cover letter to fit those job descriptions and writing “Dear Hiring Manager” emails, I could have been much more effective leaning on the relationships I’ve made in my nine-plus years in the workforce, putting aside my pride and actually asking for help. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
In a matter of two days, I’ve gone from scouring the Internet for jobs to slowing down and valuing quality over quantity. It’s led to some prospective opportunities that would allow me to maintain flexibility and continue to be an entrepreneur, while paying me pretty damn well to help with the whole dried up bank account problem.
For those who have offered help, whether with a full-time, part-time, contract or freelancer role, I thank you for doing so. Sometimes, we all get caught up in the “normal way” of job-hunting, forgetting to ask those who know us best, and, instead, hope that a stranger assumes that we’re right for a position. And, it’s taken me a few months to understand this for myself, but hope that my revelation can help you anytime you’re job-hunting next.
Lead image via Instagram/ndimengo