Title Card - How I Got My Job

How I Got My Job

As a new grad, it feels like the pressure for finding a job in your field is always growing. While you’re in school, you feel as though you’re still working towards something bigger, focusing on your studies and ensuring you get through with great grades and top honours. But now, having recently graduated with your diploma, it’s time to put your skills to good use. No more exams, no more assignments, you have your diploma in hand. Time to take the world by storm and find a new job.

While I was in school, I was working part-time in retail to continue to build some savings and have some spending money in case I needed it. It was an excellent option at the time, with a flexible schedule that could fit in between my courses and not interfere with what I needed to do for schoolwork to finish my diploma. They also agreed to take me on full-time once I was out of school, so I would be eligible for benefits once my school benefits expired. It seemed like a good plan.

The problem for me personally was that when it came time to move to full-time, it was still on a flexible schedule. In a time where I needed predictability in my life, retail turned from a great idea in school to something that kept me on my toes, sometimes needing to pull long hours when someone called in sick, or the company needed us for special events, or even longer holiday hours. It always felt like we were short-staffed, and never quite had the flexibility to get some real work done on finding my next job.

Working retail hours full-time left me exhausted and out of a routine. I couldn’t count on anything being stable enough to ensure that I could get things done. I was also afraid that if I quit my job, I might not be able to find anything quickly, and I would suddenly lose all of my savings. It didn’t look great.

Then the pandemic hit. In the middle of March, the country went into lockdown, and I was laid off from my job. Suddenly, I found myself with tons of time to be able to focus on the job search and build my skills. No work getting in the way, and plenty of opportunity to do what I needed to do to get myself out in the workforce.

I started taking online courses through LinkedIn Learning, taking advantage of the courses offered to me to better myself and make myself more marketable to potential employers. As someone who was looking into becoming a copywriter, I started taking courses on how to optimize websites for Google and Facebook, taking courses on social media marketing, even some on programming for websites and client management systems. I wanted to gain the skills I needed to succeed in the workplace.

Now, here’s the thing. While I am working on bettering myself and my skills, I almost solely focused on that alone. I was putting out only a few resumes at a time, and while I was learning some valuable skills and insights, I was nowhere nearer to actually finding a job. The longer I was outside of a job, the harder it felt, and the more I felt like I was without purpose.

It was around this time that FOCUS Inspired’s very own Luki Danukarjanto stepped in and said hello. He started working with me to better myself and give me some direction. Learning how to navigate the online job boards may seem simple, but if you want to get anywhere, you need to have a system. You have to commit to building relationships consistently, applying to a certain number of jobs each day, and putting yourself out there and practicing for your eventual interviews. You never know when it will come, and you must be prepared for it.

I also started writing for Luki, as a way to build my portfolio. Blog posts like these were a great way to show off my skills, and have something tangible for potential employers to understand what they’re getting from me. I truly believe that it was a direct result of this writing that I gained a job as a Content Writer. They were looking for someone who could start right away, and liked the work that I had provided in my application. They sent me a couple of sample blogs for me to write for them, and of five people in the process, they liked my writing the most. I was selected to join the team and filled the single position available.

I learned a few valuable lessons on the way. There may be some people who can handle a full-time position and job hunt at the same time, but I was not one of them. Know your limits. If you feel as though you’re not getting anywhere, don’t keep going the way that you’re going, you’re just going to stay where you are, because you haven’t got a plan, and the current one isn’t working.

Second, it’s important to stick to a routine. Gaining a rhythm will help you grow more and more, and the more applications you do, the easier it gets to complete them. Save your work, because you will find that your new applications will use elements of your old ones, and you can often reuse large chunks for different applications. That being said, make sure you tailor your applications to each employer, as something that feels generic will also not stand out. You can’t use the same resume and cover letter over and over again, as I quickly found out.

Finally, make yourself marketable. Find a way to build your skills and show off what you can do. Seek out opportunities to build your resume, develop your skills, and show that you are a go-getter, not someone who is only willing to sit back and let the opportunities come to them.

I am looking forward to the future, and continuing to build my skills in my current job. An important insight that Luki taught me was to always look for ways you can become the perfect candidate. Find the job postings you’re striving for and gain the skills found on those postings. Is there something extra you can do in your current job to gain those skills? Maybe there’s some volunteer work you can do to show you can do it. Build your resume for the jobs you want, and keep applying! You may even be surprised by someone seeking you out as a result.

The best advice I can give you is to never stop learning. Be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Put yourself out there and gain new opportunities to grow and be successful. You will be amazed at how much more confident you feel as a result.

Everyone has the opportunity to do great things, you just have to be willing to go out and take what’s yours. Seize the moment and the opportunity, and find those who can help you on your path to success.