Perky Perspectives

A positive view from young professionals building their careers


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40 Applications and Counting

I recently received an invitation to interview for an organization I’ve submitted several applications (40 to be exact) for various positions. Finally an interview! I think this breakthrough was the result of networking. I submitted 36 applications and had yet to hear back. In the midst of submitting applications, I found a friend who worked at the organization and was willing to pass my resume on to a recruiter. This brought an opportunity to meet with a recruiter with whom I discussed my work experiences and received feedback. A week after the meeting and submitting applications for four more positions, I received the email for the opportunity to interview!

I just completed the interview which made for an interesting experience as it was done over the internet. Faced with the typical interview questions, I had to record my answers on video using my webcam. With the grace to record my answers till I was satisfied, this interview turned out to take a while because I felt the pressure to make sure my answers sounded flawless, and well, I had several takes for all 11 questions.

I’m sure the interview would have taken less time if I had been practicing. My last position as a substitute teacher had ended two months prior, and I have not spent much time answering interview questions that incorporated my new professional experiences. So my first piece of advice (and note to myself) is to regularly practice interviewing. I’m going to try to do this at least once a week.

From this online interview experience, one insight on being strategic and efficient in practicing questions is to record yourself. I was able to catch verbal crutches in my speech, as well as pick up movements I do that could be distracting to the information I’m attempting to communicate. Practicing in front of a mirror is helpful, but recording yourself will allow you to accurately hear and view how you present yourself. Make up a list of interview questions, there are many online resources (such as Vault, Wetfeet, Glass Door, LinkedIn) to help make up this list. Get out your updated resume. Then get access to a recording device, such as a webcam, a digital camera, or phone. If you don’t have one, borrow from a friend, or a local library.

Many people say job hunting is a game and it’s tough. Be strategic as you play. After all the effort that goes into applying and networking, once you receive an opportunity to interview, being able to effectively communicate your experiences and “sell your brand” is what will separate you from other well qualified candidates to land the job.

Now as I wait to hear back from the interview, it’s back to the job hunt game and staying positive!

Best to you,

Kristin

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From Realization to Inspiration

After Hannah coached me in parallel parking to sequester the rock star spot, we strolled into Cincinnati’s Bunbury Music Festival. You can’t do this everyday, go to an awesome three-day series of concerts with a best friend on an early Friday afternoon. Hannah and I could do this though because we are in transition (a.k.a. unemployed).

Right now, I’m 25 living with the parents and financially dependent. This is not the career situation I imagined to be in at this point in life. Mom, Dad and I are still adjusting to each other after not all being in the same house for several years. Unemployment has made me grumpy and these feelings unfairly get directed toward my parents, which affects our relationship in ways I don’t like.

Entering the gates at Bunbury, Hannah makes a good observation, highlighting a perk to being unemployed that I have not fully appreciated. Wait, what? Unemployment has perks? Hannah notes how nice it is that we at least have the time and flexibility to enjoy the summer, miss rush hour, and relax to some great music.

We do enjoy a great summer weekend of music, which included getting to meet Eric Nally, the vocalist of Foxy Shazam.

Upon reflection of Hannah’s observation and the weekend, I say to myself, “O.K. So you aren’t where you thought you’d be career wise. That’s fine. But Kristin, this doesn’t mean you have to take the situation as a bad thing.”

With support from family and friends, I have time to look for a job within an organization that will help me build my dream career. I have time to enjoy the summer. I have time to develop discipline, sit down and learn to play the guitar I got in high school. My schedule is flexible. I can participate in activities such as roller derby because I have time to train to make the team. I have time to travel 15 hours by car to Vermont (a state I’d never visited) to see a best friend from college (who I only see over Skype because she currently lives in France) get married.

In case you missed it, I have time.

Staying positive and motivated in testing situations is easier said than done, I know. But it needs to happen. Appreciating the support and time I have is a start to achieving this. Changing my attitude can help build my relationship with the parents. Hannah’s observation and reflection inspired a new project: Perky Perspectives, which encourages me to check my attitude and be a proactive. Plus, I get to work with my friend. Maybe it will even help me find a job 🙂

Best to you,

Kristin

One last word: I was able to win free tickets to the Bunbury event, which I recommend doing to lower costs (especially helpful if you need to save money).