The Amusement Park of Job Hunting

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Last week I took a vacation to Florida with my family to escape the insurmountable snow here in the northeast.   My wife & I have a two and a half year old son named Brandon, and we decided to take him to a place all kids dream of going to, a “Magical” place if you will.  As we roamed the park, battled the crowds and enjoyed the rides, I couldn’t seem to turn my brain off from “work mode”  Were the analogies I was drawing between this adventure and my experience guiding people through the job hunting process justified, or just the thoughts of an insane person (a debate for another day)?  Let’s take a closer look and you can be the judge.

Be careful, it’s a jungle out there!
Be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Starting a Job Search

You have made the decision to start searching for a new career opportunity, congratulations!  So what happens next?  Therein lies the issue, you just don’t know.  There will be ups and downs, twists and turns, and you never seem to know where this process will take you next.  After waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity, the dark, space like roller coaster my wife and I went on reminded me of this process.  You can’t see what’s coming next, you find yourself hoping for the best and bracing for the worst.  It’s thrilling, scary, stressful and fun all at the same time.  So sit back, relax if you can, and enjoy the ride. When you eventually reach the end of your job hunting journey, you will have gone through a range of emotions, learned a lot about yourself and in the end, come out happy and alive (literally and figuratively).

The Interview Process

You have secured an interview and you want to be prepared.  You have dreamed of landing this job and want to be on top of your game.  You are so pumped that before and during the interview you become nervous, dizzy, and possibly even nauseous (hopefully not, for everyone’s sake).  It’s sort of like those crazy tea cups that spin around endlessly while you whip around faster than lightning.  If you need to settle yourself down, focus on what’s in front of you and not on all the chaos whirling around you.  Worst case scenario, you get to practice honing your interview skills, get a feel for the types of questions being asked by prospective new employers and identify areas of self-improvement.  Suck it up, it’s only tea cups you’ll be fine.

Post Interview

The interview has come and gone and you find out you did not get the position.  Maybe you were slightly edged out by another candidate, you lacked enough experience with one key technical skill, or maybe you were even overqualified for this role.  Whatever the reason, the WORST thing you can do is burn a bridge by coming off as desperate or unprofessional.  It seems like commonsense, however it’s shocking to witness how many people decide to “confront” their interviewers with emails, phone calls, etc. inquiring why they were not selected.  There is nothing wrong with expecting some honest feedback on why you weren’t chosen for the position, but keep things professional and don’t force the issue.  If you are even remotely active on social media, you’ll notice people joining new companies every single day.  Who is to say the person you interviewed with doesn’t join a new organization in the future? Maybe he or she has an opening and they think of that candidate that just missed out on that job at their old company, but since they interviewed so well in all other areas and conducted themselves professionally, let’s bring them in for this opportunity.  It sounds far-fetched but I’ve seen it happen.  So be careful not to alienate yourself as it truly is “A Small World After All”.  Now if I could only get that song out of my head!

 

Good luck in your job search, have fun & enjoy the ride!


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