Lesson in Self Discovery: Being A Job Seeker

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My Journey of Self Discovery:
Becoming a Job Seeker

Job Searcher
I am in the third week of an all-out, hunt-for-the-kill job search. And, it hasn’t been as easy as I thought.

My Journey of Self Discovery

I have been lucky enough in my life and career that I have not found myself in this position in the past, and let me tell you something, it’s not somewhere I’d like to be for a long-period of time.

I started my career immediately out of University. It came easy to me, and any position I attained from there on in, internal or external, was a smooth progression, one promotion after the next, in an orderly, well-deserved, well-planned climb of a mountain.

3 years ago, my steady ascent was put on hold when my son was born. I decided I was going to take time to be at home, have my two children, focus on family and take a ‘break’ from my career (Ha! Break! Fellow moms’ can cough, laugh now).

During this time (I like to call it my stint as CEO of Sood Enterprises), when I was not the General Manager of Noise Control, Director of Hazardous Waste Removal, Master Chef, Multi-Tasking Guru Extraordinaire, I was able to take time to explore some of my passions.

And from looking at my passions, I knew that when I went back to work, I wanted a career shift.

I knew it meant looking for a job, applying, interviewing, and becoming a self-promoting, active candidate.

What I didn’t know?

That this would be a journey of self-discovery.

A journey I now think everyone should take at some point in their life, if they haven’t yet already.

Always Be Courteous

Having sat on the other side of the interview table for many years – sourcing, interviewing, providing feedback, hiring/not hiring people, for a variety of positions: from part-time contract work, to full-time global management level roles, I had never really had the perspective of a candidate.

Knowing now, what it is like, the ups and downs, the confidence boosts and letdowns, would I have changed anything about the way I dealt with those bright-eyed, hopeful applicants in the past? I don’t think so.

What I Do Know Is This:

I have re-affirmed that when dealing with people, in whatever capacity, there are 3 courtesies that should never, ever be forgotten (Mr. Employer, Ms. Hiring Manager, listen up, this is for you!).

3 Common Courtesies for Job Seekers and Recruiters:

1. Communication Really Is Key

When you say you are going to get back to someone, do it.

Even if it is not your top priority, just do it.

Lesson Learned?

If you can’t do it, don’t promise it. Which leads me to my next common courtesy of not over promising.

2. Never Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

It’s probably the worst thing you can do.

I was recently speaking with a potential employer and this person told me multiple times that this particular job was mine if I wanted it. This individual painted the most beautiful picture of my life in the world’s most perfect job, wrapped up in a bow, covered in cherries and made specifically for me. Only, to then, ignore my follow-ups, provide me with no clarification as to why I was being ignored, and the icing on the cake? No signed contract. No job. Back to square one.

Lesson Learned?

When on the other side of the table, follow-through on my commitments. Before promising the world, ensure that I have the ability to provide the world.

3. Mind Your Manners and Be On Time.

Is punctuality a thing of the past? I know that I am the candidate, and I am the one who needs to cater to potential employers, especially when a job may be on the table.

But, I also know that it is a common courtesy to be on time for your appointments and to provide undivided attention when agreeing to meet with someone.

Since acquiring the role of promising, bright-eyed candidate, I have encountered multiple no-shows, change-of-times and last-minute bail-out meetings.

Lesson Learned?

Treat other people’s time with respect. Plain and simple.

Lessons Learned as a Candidate

As I move forward into a world unknown, a new career awaits me somewhere out there in the abyss, and I know a few things for certain: I will always be courteous, follow through on my commitments, and respect people’s time. Here’s to the great life lessons learned from being a candidate!

What have you, our readers, learned (dos and don’ts) in your job search?

Linda Kettlewell Sood
Linda Sood is a guest blogger for Talent Formula. She has 7 years of marketing and talent acquisition experience, specializing in experiential marketing, team management, and employment branding. After taking 3 years off to focus on family and to have her two young children, Linda is eager and excited to jump back into the workforce. While at home, Linda made the time to explore some of her personal passions and has decided to make a career shift. She is currently on the hunt for the perfect job and you can join her as she blogs her way through this self-reflective quest.

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  • Marlene

    I remember being in the same boat and wondering why people would never get back to me. One of the things I learned in my job search was that I couldn’t job search 8 hours a day or I would go crazy waiting for someone to respond. I would plan a few hours a day to run errands or research a hobby that I would take when I did get a job. It helped distract me for awhile instead of hitting refresh every 5 minutes.

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