I waited for you
I longed for you
I did everything for you
Job where are you??
This post is again suggested by some of my friends. I can’t thank you enough for coming out and suggesting the topic for my post. This is about getting your first break in your career in a distant land. I will keep this one specific to the people who have raised some of the issues and through mumways wanted a let out.
You are a newly married in to a new family, in a new country, in a new system, everything around you is NEW! In that new phase of life, you want to create an identity for yourself. You want to build up your career, something, which you like; more appropriately would create an identity for yourself in the period of transition. I was the same, hence I could very well relate to the post. I thought it would be a walk in the park for me. I had the degrees and experiences to get a decent job. How difficult could it be? I started applying for jobs from the comfort of my home. Every new application sparked up new hopes that this time, I would definitely get an interview call. Application after application followed, rejection after rejection started becoming a permanent member of my email inbox. You invest a lot of your time and energy to complete an application; you feel that you have written the perfect answers to those competency-based questions. It is not a good start or end of the day when the email replies start with a ‘unfortunately or I am afraid your application could not go the next level. Not a good feeling at all.
I changed everything: email id, CV, tailored CV, layout of the CV. I changed my email id purely based on superstitions. Too many rejection emails from the older email id, the new email id would bring good luck. Anyways, there was no good luck. After a while, it gets you. As it’s said, ‘finding a job is a job itself’, so I was full time employed, in the position of a ‘job seeker’. In that role, there was no pay but there were benefits. The benefit of doubt! You doubt yourself; you doubt your qualifications and experiences. You doubt your abilities and when you see your friends in greener pastures, there is a feeling that I can’t explain. You are happy for them, but you feel that you could have done the same, may be more, if you were there!
If you ask someone, how did you get it? The answer would not be straightforward in some instances. Responses such as ‘ I applied online’ are very common. Now, when I am writing the post, I am not caught up with the emotions that I used to feel but still some of it is still vivid in my mind. I don’t blame anyone for being unable to tell me or show me the route to a job because I’m pretty sure for him or her as well it wasn’t a short cut. And for a few they don’t want to go through the same mental trauma or show a fake picture. So they just come up with the easiest way through i.e., I found it online and applied.
The questions for me were how do I get into the system? Who is going to believe me? Who is going to be a mentor and show me the job path? I did not find the answers straightaway. But now when someone sees me, it seems like an easy ride. If I am not wrong, that’s the story for most of us.
The recruiters add to it as they build up your hope and then bring you back to reality. Mind it, for them it’s their job to keep updating profiles, to get high quality candidates and build up their pipeline of work. Otherwise, they will be soon joining you as well. I wouldn’t blame the recruiters for the sad part in a job seekers life. Let’s get to the point. So if you are in a distant land, one of the ways of getting to know how good you are is to get yourself back into some form of training. It can be a university degree, voluntary work or internship. In terms of university degrees, they can be expensive but there are ways around it. You can get career development loans. Analyse the positives and negatives. Here are a few positives: you will get references, exposure, a new work system, job fairs, ways of thinking, friends. The negatives: No job guarantee, less time for family. If you want to enrol yourself, go full on about it because there would be people who would try to bring your spirits down by saying things such as you are wasting your money, degrees don’t matter, there is no guarantee of job and if you are looking after a family, then the added bits and pieces. What I would suggest is that, if you have decided that this is the way for you, then go for it whole heartedly. There is no more thinking, enjoy your time in the university and the rest will take care of itself. Or you can look for voluntary work and internships. They are extremely recommended. I got my first break through voluntary work. If you prove that you are good at what you are doing, then they will take you as a paid employee.
Another way of getting your first break is by visiting job fairs. There will be numerous people promoting their organisation in the job fairs. You have to be careful about which ones to choose and spend your energy on. Because some of the people are only doing their ‘job’ to mind a stall which is part of their job description. It is one of the job descriptions for graduate recruitment coordinators. You are adults, you can talk openly about their job profile and have an assessment if they are part of any decision making process. Talk to them and ask if they can organise a visit. Show your CV, there is no point in leaving your CVs. Ask questions, recommendations and their opinion on your CV. Although you might not get a straight answer but go for it anyways. Ask them, how did they apply? Ask if they could organise some work experience for you. As they say, ‘don’t be afraid about coming forward’, follow it, until you get your way, rather follow it anyways.
If nothing works out for you, become your own boss and become an employer. Hah! There is always a choice for you and whatever happens is for a reason. Some of us get it quickly and move on and for some it takes a little longer to understand ‘the whys’. I forgot where I read it but it’s so true that there is no such thing called a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek the problems because you want their gifts!
I hope it keeps your spirits high and wrap you in a blanket of warmth in the beautiful crispy weather!