What Lies Ahead
Well, I woke up today and started wondering how long this madness of being unemployed was going to carry on. At the onset of this thought, I went to a folder on my computer which is a repository for all the jobs that I apply to. My method of retaining this information is as follows:
- Find a job posting to apply to
- Select print and save the job description page as a PDF
- Save the PDF to my folder: “Jobs applied to”
I do this each and every time. Part of the reason is so I can keep track of where and when I am applying for the Unemployment agency in Florida in case they ask me for proof. The other part of this process is to prove to myself, when I am doubting whether or not I have put enough effort into the search, that I have indeed been putting out my best effort in looking for my next career opportunity, by being able to look back on the total files saved and the dates of creation. Initially, I had kept a log in a notepad of this information, but decided that was getting very tedious and annoying. So, I resorted to this method which works perfectly. I looked at it again today and noticed that I have saved about 65 jobs in this folder as PDF’s (or, if the page does not output correctly as a PDF, then I copy the contents of the job description and save it as a text file). Now, these 65 files do not include the emails I’ve sent to a few Advertising Agencies (I believe the number to be about 5) as a means of reaching out, even though they had no job postings. Also, this doesn’t include my initial notepad of jobs that I had applied to in the initial weeks of having been laid 0ff. My notepad contains a total number of 24 jobs. When considering these facts, my best estimate is around 94 jobs in total. Along with this is the fact that it has now been 7 months that I have been out of work. That means, on average, I’ve applied to about 13.4 jobs per month. Breaking this down even further; 3.4 jobs per week.
During this time, I’ve had only one interview and the company found me from my profile on Creative Hotlist. I interviewed for the position and found that the opportunity sounded ideal for what I was looking for; this was back in December. After about 2 followups with the response being that the position is delayed or is on a hiring freeze, I surmised that either they were not interested in me or that they would contact me when the position was truly ready (I also didn’t want to come across as a nuisance, even though I have an urge to send a third email, I mean, it had been about 3 months as of April since my last inquiry and I still had not heard of a final decision). Update: I followed my instincts and sent a third follow up on April 16th. I received a reply on April 23rd and was told that they liked me (which was great to hear), but that they are not able to create the position for their department at this time. Should something change at a later date, they will let me know. This was great to hear and it was equally nice to be able to put behind me the nagging thought of, “are they still interested?”. I never stopped applying for other career opportunities just because I landed an interview, but it was the only “second-stage” opportunity I have had, and it was nice to have some form of finality with the matter.
Personally, I have applied to a number of companies throughout the United States and locally to Florida. That means that there was 89 (not including the 5 applications that I sent out to companies that had no positions listed) positions that were at one point available that I felt qualified enough to apply to. In terms of these other jobs that I have applied to, what’s even more trying is knowing that I have had personal referrals for some jobs through direct acquaintances/contacts on both ends. While this doesn’t always tend to lead to an advantage, it appears that more and more people are landing back in their careers (or another form of it) through their network and while I still have to make my case as to why I am qualified, it’s perplexing that no one seems interested in setting up an interview. In my case:
1. I know of a few companies that are still hiring
2. Have posted positions that need to be filled
3. Have received my application and, more than likely, applications from others that are qualified
4. Have said nothing
5. Only to re-post the position a few weeks later
6. I look at the position (again) and review my resume, while coming to the conclusion that I am capable of fulfilling this role
7. And with no response from the company, I am left wondering: “Why not?”
I know what I am capable of and I know that of all the positions I have applied to, that I am able to perform the tasks required of me and with a fair amount of time, digging deeper in to my role to find more efficiencies that will provide a good return to the company and my direct team. Maybe it’s truly an issue of responsiveness and the companies that have been applied to are just slow to respond. Maybe phone calls or emails will start happening in the coming weeks and will hopefully lead to my next opportunity. Maybe I have to hold out a bit longer then others that have been able to bounce back and if so, OK, I can handle that. I can deal with that outcome. This is all a possibility. A possibility that I am still fervently holding on to.
Update 2: I just had the opportunity for another interview today, May 28, 2009. It was a really great experience and I feel that the position’s details and my background complement each other really well. I hope this opportunity yields itself to me, as I see so many opportunities to learn and grow, and to obtain even more knowledge in various areas of advertising, print, SEO, video, writing and production. These are areas that I have knowledge in, but could really obtain more direct knowledge. It also provides the opportunity to really have more of an overall impact and the way the interview was set up felt extremely casual and seemed to diffuse any stress I had coming in. It was conducted positively and addressed all my issues/concerns. I really hope this opportunity pans out as I feel that I was equally received very positively. I know I did the best that I could and feel that it came across as such. I will be told of the decision in about a week and a half. Exciting opportunity; anxiously awaiting!