Summertime is a hot season (literally and figuratively) for job searches. Whether your the young, woman fresh out of grad school looking for the first entry level role or the young, woman entry level professional looking for that mid-level role, these points can serve as some tips on how to prepare for job searchers, interviews, and job offers. These tips are ones that I’ve used in the past and things that my peers/mentors/friends have done that resonated with me on my professional job search.
My job search journey has come full-circle once again. I’ll admit, this one was quite a surprise and I had little time to prepare like I normally would if I was ready to move roles. Nonetheless, here I am searching for that new career that will be in a place where I feel valued and supported for who I am and what I can bring to a community.
Looking for a new job is a job in itself. You want to take a break or a day off to mentally recharge after looking at hundreds of job postings a day. You do this to find those 2 or 3 jobs that you’ll actually apply to. It can be very overwhelming and even more overwhelming when you have 2 or 3 interviews in the same week. The stress of it all is real. Putting your best foot forward to get people to like you and recognize your skills can be tough on your mental health. Then getting that rejection email that starts with, “Thank you for applying to the position of (insert position name here) at (insert company name here). We had many qualified candidates and our candidate pool was highly competitive. We regret to inform you…” you get the rest. YOU DIDN’T GET THE JOB!
I’ll be the first to admit. When I receive a rejection from a place I really wanted to work at, I take it personal. I beat myself up about it. I start replaying the interview day back in my head to see what could have went wrong for them…not to like me. But I have to remember (and my parents and best friends tell me this all the time) I can’t control the situation. I cannot hire myself for a position. If I wasn’t the person they were looking for, I have to move on, take that L and turn into a lesson.
The following tips have helped me on all of my job search journeys:
Research the Company: The worst thing you can do is apply for a job somewhere and not have an idea of what they do, who their stakeholders are, and where they are trying to go. Always do your homework while you are applying for jobs. That way, you have a broad idea of what you could potentially be getting yourself into. You will also have an idea of what to ask them when it’s your turn to ask questions during the interview.
Seek Advice from Mentors in Your Field: Demetrius, Quanisha, Robert, Krystal, Crasha, Darryl, Tashena, Shamille, Cash, Joseph, Tekita, Arianna, Lynn, Annie, Karla, Marlene, Jaleesha, Cristian, Hannah, Justin. These are all mentors in my line of work. Also, anyone else who had helped me interview prep, sent me jobs via email or text, listened to me cry and be angry, believed me, answered random questions, edited my cover letter, wrote a reference letter for me, advocated on my behalf…I thank you. Everything you have done for me and are continuing to do for me, I thank you for your love and support from a distance and cheering me on. This field is tough but I have amazing warriors behind me.
Call your mentors, text them, email them. Ask for help. They are not there to judge your situation. They are there to help you become the best version of yourself. They understand your value and what you can bring to a company or team. They are going to keep it real with you and give you the feedback you NEED to hear. Not want to hear.
If You get a ‘No’: Sigh. This is literally the hardest thing for me to deal with, as I mentioned above. I remember one time I went to an in-person interview. I fell in love with the position, I liked the people and environment, it was in a city with predominantly Black people. I mean, I was SOLD! I thought the interview went great and I left feeling optimistic. I soon started to get worried after a week had come and gone and had not heard from the place. I started to realize that they didn’t choose me. And a few days later, I got the email. I was devastated. I almost let that ‘No’ consume me. I gave myself sometime to be upset but I soon got back up and went back to applying for jobs. Because in a sea full of ‘nos’ a ‘yes’ is on the horizon and it is all in God’s plan and time. See, we try to rush and tell God what we THINK our life should look like. But God already has your life mapped out for you. You just have to do the work and He will allow things to fall into place.
When You get a ‘Yes’: Because you WILL get a yes. And it’s going to be mutual ‘yes’! Listen to their onboarding packages. When you get an on the phone offer, the hiring manager will inform you that they want to hire you. They then will (should) tell you the potential salary, benefits, moving expenses, vacation and personal days, professional development money, etc. Some will give you 24- to 48-hours to make a decision. During that time you can begin to negotiate your salary (please negotiate) and other things that you may need.
I hope this helps someone. I have a few other gems but feel free to contact me!
❤ Queen T