In Her Words: What I’ve Learned Throughout My Job Search
My experience searching for a new job has been a long and challenging one. I always work hard to present myself professionally and do all the right things when it comes to tailoring my resumé, seeking information about an open role, or sending thank-you notes promptly following an interview. However, for one reason or another, I still have not been able to take the next step in my career.
As it happens, the height of my job search has taken place during Covid-19, which has presented a different set of challenges entirely. Many companies have stopped hiring and, rightfully, shifted focus to current employees and how to best weather this unprecedented storm. Nonetheless, I have tried to persevere through a difficult economic climate to see how I might add value to a new organization, eventually translate skills from my current role to my next one.
For me, this job search has been about more than just taking the next step. I am seeking a fulfilling career, one that will allow me to grow personally and professionally for years to come.
I have found that motivation can come from anywhere, anytime. I recently listened to an episode of the Maternity Liv with Olivia Oshry podcast where Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, joined as a guest. I was inspired by their discussion on becoming the ultimate businesswoman and the importance of relationship-building in the working world. It inspired me to tap more into the passion I have for my job and my desire to be successful in whatever career path I take. I took their discussion very literally, reaching out to Shelley on LinkedIn to see if I could gain some more perspective on my job search.
The biggest lesson I have learned through this process is to reframe. Trying to find a new job at any point can be stressful and uncomfortable. Trying to find a new job during a global pandemic — when it feels like no company in the world is hiring — adds another level of pressure to the mix.
After reframing my experience and shifting my mindset around my job search, I came up with five lessons that I have learned about myself and my career journey.
It is about who you are. I have always been focused on what my resumé looks like and how I am presenting my work experience. While I still believe that is a pivotal part of the process, it is also essential to let a company know who you are. By the time you get to an interview, you most likely possess the skills that are necessary in order to succeed in the role. At that point, it becomes more about fit within the organization. Take that time to sell yourself as a person and explain why you can be a value add to the company.
Switching careers doesn’t mean you have to start completely from scratch. I come from a pretty niche industry and have long feared that I will never be able to break out of it. Today, that fear has dissipated. After reframing (remember, my new favorite word!), I am confident my skills can translate to any industry. The field I am in does not define me; rather, my skillset makes me the talented marketer that I am and has prepared me to be successful in the workforce.
A lateral move can help you and your career evolve. I have been working to make a change and switch industries. Yet, throughout my search, some opportunities can feel like a step back, a less satisfying look at “where I should be in my career.” Turns out, that is not always the case. I have a unique set of skills that I have developed over the years. Whether I am using them in my current role and industry — or somewhere else — ultimately does not matter. A move that might appear lateral on paper can blossom into a rewarding step towards a more fulfilling path.
No one is you and that is your superpower. I have always been very focused on pitching myself and making sure I tailor my skills to a potential employer. But I have learned that I do not need to worry so much about saying A = B in their world. I need to be confident in my experience and deliver the message that I am a talented creative marketer, event planner, manager, collaborator, and team player – no matter the role or company. I now work hard to showcase who I am and what I can bring to the team, not just my work. Employers want to see who you are as a person, which is an important piece of the value-add.
Good things happen when you remove the negativity. Searching for a job can be an emotionally draining, unpleasant experience. You send out countless resumés in hopes of seizing the next big opportunity that comes along. I’ve come to realize that I am not being rejected from every job I apply for. There are many reasons I might not hear back from a job, and it is not always personal. If I allow myself to have a negative attitude during this journey, that will overshadow my strongest, most valuable attributes when speaking with prospective employers. The right job at the right company will come at the right time, and my success will come in the form of satisfaction with the work I am able to do.
These lessons, among others, have reinvigorated me with a sense of hope about the possibilities that lie ahead. I am a passionate, hardworking, and driven event marketer with the tools I need to be successful in whatever position I take next. The perfect job is out there. Now it is up to me to go get it.
Brynne Kelly is an experienced marketing professional with over ten years of working in the sports and entertainment industry. She has worked with top-level coaches and teams to provide an exceptional marketing approach and an entertaining game atmosphere for attendees. She specializes in digital strategy, email campaigns, and event planning. You can connect with Brynne on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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