There’s a line people say about being careful in fear that history may repeat itself. But is that the same when it comes to finding a new job?
I’m on the hunt for a new job and after eight years of working, one would think it would be easier. You’re more experienced. You have skills. You know how to navigate people or at least understand where politics come into play in the office. And it is easier… in some respects. There’s a certain cache and confidence you build and bring with you to every application or interview. But the more I talk with friends/family/acquaintances about work and career, the more it appears that finding your next job is just as hard as finding your first one.
There are exceptions. There are some people with all the luck and the connections. Just when they think about leaving a job, someone is waiting with what seems to be like an even bigger and better job for them. To those people, I hate you! Jk. But darn you and all your god damn luck.
Everyone tells you that you should be able to find a job easily now that you’ve got years of experience under your belt. But that doesn’t matter. The more time you spend working for and with other people, the more you realize that you refuse to go back to what you’ve suffered. You’re not willing to make less money. You’re not willing to start at the bottom. You’re less willing to take on menial tasks. You’ve put in so much work and you can’t see it disregarded. Just think, how many times have you heard a friend say that they refuse to take a new job that will pay them less or make them run ragged like some assistant? You feel you’ve paid your dues and it’s time to reap the benefits.
I know I feel as if I’ve paid multiple dues. I’ve learned the ins and outs of press releases (though you can always improve), how to put together events, how to budget, how to strategize, etc but it doesn’t matter unless you can convince others of your value or skill. And then, there’s trying to standout in a big application portal that literally sees thousands of applicants that could be as good or better than you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very optimistic about applying for jobs and finding a new one that could be a great fit, but I’m nervous. That same bit of nervousness you feel when you just enter the career game. Nervous about influencing others. Nervous about making a great impression. And ultimately, nervous about choosing the job that will offer you the career progression/benefits/salary you deserve.
You look on Linkedin or Indeed (job portals I recommend BTW) and you’re greeted by hundreds upon thousands of jobs. But overtime, they all blend together. Nothing seems original. Nothing seems perfect. Nothing seems like it will ever measure up to what you think you want and deserve. It all just feels like you’ve been thrown out to sea by college and you’re sticking your hand up with the hopes someone will grab onto you and say “you’re the one I want.” I just can’t with that and that feeling. Alas, that’s how things work.
So go ahead and enjoy your new and improved skill-set. Sell it to the company you want to work for. Sell it to the interviewers who are making judgements. Sell it to yourself! But in the end, to me, job searching will always be like looking for your first job. Full of hope, wishing that the great and powerful recruiter and hiring team will realize you are the one for the job.