To demonstrate, I’ve asked one of my amazing clients to share her success story and lessons learned so you too can find work you love…
–Tell us about your new job – what will you be doing and what do you love about it?
I am a career counselor at a law school in NYC and my focus is on public service careers. I work with law students who are interested in working at non-profit organizations or in the government. I help them with finding internships, jobs after graduation, and counsel them in discovering what excites them about their careers. I also organize career symposiums, workshops, and panels, facilitate student participation in pro bono work, and help them get involved in their communities.
What I love about this work is the daily interaction with students and being able to guide their careers and encourage community engagement. I also really enjoy networking and love being able to build relationships with employers and acting as a matchmaker for students looking for employment.
–As a recent job seeker, how are you finding today’s job market differs from the past?
In the past, I found the job search to be a much shorter process. In this market it took me about a year to secure the job I really wanted. It required much more patience and diligence on my part to secure a position. I had to do a lot more networking, informational interviews, and volunteering in order to get myself out in the field that interested me.
–What approach did you take to land your dream job?
First, I became very clear with what I wanted. This involved working with Maggie in determining my mission and vision for my career, what type of office environment I wanted to work in, and what values were essential in the work that I wanted to do. Once I was clear, I started to do a lot of informational interviews with people in the same field, go to networking events, and apply to jobs online. My contacts would also send me postings and recommend me informally for jobs. I found myself being first runner up for a few jobs and I was getting frustrated. So I decided to get myself out there even more and volunteered at a career services office at a law school that I had done an informational interview with and knew might be hiring in the near future. After two months of interning, they hired me for this position!
–Did it help that you had spent time Soul Searching and Researching BEFORE Job Searching?
Yes! I have realized from this process how important it is to be clear with what you want and have an understanding of how to get there before jumping in. I put it out in the universe the type of job I wanted and let everyone in my network know so they could help me in my search. Then I determined how I could get there through informational interviews, networking events, volunteering and doing research online.
–What advice do you have for others who are job seeking and feel the pressure to take something less than ideal?
I think it’s extremely important to feel passionate about the work that you do, considering how much of your daily life is spent working. I think once job seekers are clear with what they want to do, (while being realistic on their finances and experience necessary for the jobs they want) they should not compromise on their vision. I turned down a job that I knew was not the right fit in terms of my goals or the type of office I wanted to work in, and I’m very happy I waited for the right job to come along!
How are you finding the job market? Did you recently land a new job? Would you like to and have questions about how you can Soul Search into your ideal career? Share your comments and questions below.
“Don’t just have a job, have a mission.” – Civil Rights Leader Dorothy Height