Tag Archives: search

The Job Search (Pt.3) – An Offer and Still Searching

Last week I went for an on-site visit with the organization I interviewed for prior to my trip to Europe. The job was for a counselor position in a group home for people with developmental disabilities. It was a good opportunity and I was looking forward to the possibility of working with them. However, during the course of the visit, I learned of the shift I was expected to take. The available shifts ran from mid-afternoon to late at night, or overnight. I don’t consider such a shift compatible with the type of life that I would like to live. At the end of the visit I was offered the position, though I requested time to mull it over; it was a dilemma that I knew would be on my mind constantly. I considered all of my options, and (perhaps foolishly) decided that I am likely to land another job in the next few weeks. I turned down the offer (much to the supervisor’s dismay).

Ultimately what it came down to was that even if I took the position, I wouldn’t halt my search for another job. If a better and more suitable position came my way, I would leave this job, possibly in the middle of the three-month training. I just couldn’t justify turning around and leaving this company after they’ve invested resources and time into my training, not to mention disappointing the group home residents.

It seems extremely counter-intuitive to turn down a job after I’ve searched so diligently. Even so, I know it was the right decision for myself and the company. In the mean time, I had a phone interview last week, and I believe it went well. I look forward to hearing back from them, but you’ll hear more on that in Part 4 of The Job Search.

Have you ever turned down a good opportunity? Did you regret it?

Job Search series: Part 1 – Part 2 Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5


The Job Search (Pt.2) – First Interview!

What color tie should I wear?

What color tie would you wear?

Bright and early this morning I had my first job interview! If nothing else is to come of it, it was a valuable experience on its own. The interview was for a large nonprofit that services people with developmental disabilities and offers a variety of resources to their clientele.

It began in a waiting room where I was left to size up my competition. I was expecting a middle-aged applicant pool, but instead found myself surrounded by other recent college graduates. I found myself trying to determine, on the basis of their look and dress, who would interview well and who would not. I was one of just two or three males, versus thirty or so females, so I felt as if that might work in my favor if they were seeking male employees.

After waiting, we were pulled six or seven at a time to a conference room for a group interview, during which we were able to discuss our relevant experience. I was glad I had done some prior research on the company’s mission, philosophy, and services prior to the interview because we were practically tested on it. We were also presented with a difficult scenario regarding ethics, which we had work out as a group. Following the group interview, we were interviewed individually; this one, however, seemed to be less about qualifications and more about whether my desired position, salary, and shifts lined up with their needs.

As of now, I am unsure of how it went (it seems interviewers are experts at hiding their thoughts). I believe it went well, but I am continuing to search and apply in case the available openings are not ones I can or want to fill. I hope that I receive calls back from other applications, but from what I gather in reading and speaking to others, it is never really that simple. My fear is turning down this job (if the shift is less-than-ideal), and then sitting around for months waiting to get another phone call. Plus, I’m not sure how long I can go without a source of income! It’s a hard thing watching your account balance dwindle with no end in sight. Mint loves reminding me when my net monthly income is negative! Quite the sadist.

What was your first job interview like? Did you get the job?

Additional Reading:The Real Postgrad Life: Interviewing

Job Search series: Part 1 – Part 2 Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

The Job Search (Pt.1) – a Paradox?

The Experience Paradox!I’ve been on the job prowl for just a week or two now, and I’ve already noticed some factors working against me. For starters, something I’ve heard referred to as “the experience paradox.” Even at entry level, many of the jobs I have applied to require very specialized experience (often rightfully so). For example, applying to a center for people with developmental disabilities requires at least one, if not two years of developmental disability experience. While often this prerequisite is completely justified, it’s extraordinarily difficult to gain experience if no job will tolerate inexperience for some time. I still feel that in some cases it’s worth applying anyway. The employer may find that you are qualified for the job in other ways, or have gained experience that they feel is relevant. The worst-case scenario is that you are respectfully taken out of consideration for the job. This likely just means no phone call, which some might consider the easiest way to go down.

One of the earliest steps that I took in this job search was to create a profile and upload my resume to some major career search websites (Monster.comCareerbuilder.com, and CareerRookie.com for entry-level jobs). While it hasn’t been overly-fruitful, I did receive a few responses, most of which were just general offers directed at probably every college graduate on the site. Still, it’s comforting to know my resume is out their working for me when I’m not surfing the web for openings. It’s still important, however, to check new postings regularly.

I’ve also made use of my college’s job postings website. Most schools offer a whole host of resources for job-seekers. Visit your college or local career center and take advantage of all they have to offer. Your college career center may also have special arrangements with companies and/or firms that may give you a leg up in your search. Often times companies will hold interviews specifically for students at particular universities. I have made it a general point to check posted flyers on-the-regular for potential openings.

The take-home message is not to pass up any chance to hear about a job. Do your research, hand out resumes, and talk to people (you never know what other people can do for you). Don’t be ashamed to ask for a little help to get your foot in the door. Give it time, but never stop looking!

As for me, I’ve got my first job interview on the 21st. I’m not sure what to expect, but I feel confident! I’m going to do my research, and I’ll report back in Part 2 of this Job Search series.

Additional Reading:

Graduated Learning’s Guide To Finding And Getting A Job
Top 10 Job Hunting Tips of 2010

Job Search series: Part 1 – Part 2 Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5