Diary of a mid-career job seeker: 9, 800, 20, 10, 5, 2, 3, 1

Posted May 27, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights, Networking

Fans of LOST will no doubt recognize the significance numbers can play in shaping lives.  In this installment of our blog, one of our members shares her experience in recognizing it was time to walk away from a fulltime gig that had run its course (which she did at the height of the recession) and what she learned along her journey to landing her next gig.

Check this out. It has been 9 months since I began my search. I have applied to over 800 positions, I have had 20+ phone interviews, from those about 10 face to face interviews and another 5 or so, second face to face interviews, been down to the final two at least three times and have finally got and accepted an offer for 1 Marketing Manager position! with a major bank! I just got through the background/reference check stage and I start on Monday.

Since September of last year, I have had phone and/or face to face interviews with BMO (three times), Air Miles, Scotiabank, Canwest, CFIB, Interbrand, CTV, CIBC, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Laura Canada, B2B Trust and Modelo Molson to name a few.

Whew, it was a lot of hard work but really rewarding. I learned I am missing the social marketing component in my CV so I am volunteering with Halton Food for Thought to fill that gap and PR is getting more important so I am taking more courses.

I learned that being nice and having a professional response can get you an interview. I was turned down by one company after a phone interview but my email response to that rejection got me a face to face interview. I have learned that for an interview to be successful it does not necessarily result in a job offer but also provides you with opportunities to expand your business network and to learn what gaps you need to fill. If the interview was good, but I did not get the job, I asked them to connect on LinkedIn. Almost everyone I asked did, including my bank contacts, which helped me win this role.

I learned that change is good and we are all capable of it. I am astonished when I speak with people who are looking and they are negative about it because there are lots of opportunities out there you just need to go after them. The job market is thriving you need a plan / strategy and to diligently spend the time hunting.

I learned there is no good time to leave your job (and I have been asked “Why now?”). It is always easier to stay. You must do it when it feels right to you and be as ready as you can be. I was never 100% ready, probably closer to 85%, but that was enough tod me on and helped me through. I also learned that colleagues, friends and, most importantly, family are there to support you and that they want to support you.  And, you should take their help and say thank you.

I learned that I am good at what I do and that there is no reason for me not to be successful in this next phase of my career. I know this because I just spent the last nine months marketing the most important thing I will ever market, myself.

Remember, 9, 800, 20, 10, 5, 2, 3, 1. These are my numbers and everyone will have their own but they are all good, and just need to end in 1.

Note from your LeaderTalker: if you’re currently struggling with career choices, interested in figuring out how to transfer your skills or looking for strategies to get off on the right foot at  your new job, attend our June 9 PowerRoundtable on Career Shifting.


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  1. Karin says:

    Wow… what a story! Thank you for sharing. This should give everyone looking to make changes in their career some food for thought: it’s a tough uphill road where you will experience peaks and valleys but if you learn from all your experiences… you will be rewarded in the end.