My job hunt in London- keep positive!
28 September 2015 |
Prabhjot Kaur | About a 5 minute read
Being in a new country is overwhelming. Add in to the situation that you are looking for a job, it’s like running like through a maze!
You appear for an interview, which according to you goes great. You browse through the website and imagine yourself working for the company, whilst day-dreaming about the moment you will finally update your LinkedIn profile, update your status on Facebook with a celebratory beer to toast that you have finally made it.
But no, the awaited email arrives and tells you that “hiring is on hold” or, “your CV is great but we are looking for something else” or worse – no response!
It’s a daunting and a difficult period to go through. Rejections are discouraging and depressing. You ask yourself: –
“Am I overqualified or under?”
“Did I make the right decision by moving to London?”
“Am I doing everything right? If yes, why isn’t it working!!”
And yes, all of this did happen to me.
But I never thought I would say this, my job search turned out to be completely REWARDING, not just because I finally got a great job at AND Digital, but because I became a better person for going through all of this. On reflection, I think the way it was all kept possible and how I kept myself positive was by following these ideas and principles that I want to share:
1. No Pain No Gain
A wise person once told me: “when pain comes your way, try to get the most growth out of it”. And this became my motto which helped me undertake this journey with more smiles than scowls.
2. No What Ifs
We all at some point in our life switch careers, move places etc. These decisions work at times and sometimes they don’t. The important thing to remember is such decisions are neither right nor wrong. It is circumstantial. Accept, learn and move on.
3. Plan your day
Once you accept and stop brooding about not having a job, it is important to plan how you want to use your day. And I am not referring to long term plans here, just that how will you spend your day productively rather than staring at your resume and figuring out the perfect jargon to make it likeable. You need not spend more than 2-3 hours a day applying for jobs. Spend the rest of the time upskilling and networking (details coming below).
This is a good way to understand a new country, people and culture. Spend a day per week working with your local volunteer organisation. It is fun, plus you get sense of how things run around. Added bonus is the sense of satisfaction! There are plenty of organisations in London where you can volunteer. I worked with Volunteer London. My job was to organise volunteer fairs, educate people about volunteering and help them get onboard. It was a learning experience in terms of understanding people – the culture, the accent, the behaviour etc (plus I met new people everyday!).
Not only that, I also learnt how London Government was using Digital to reach out to people, solve problems and help them. Now being a Product Analyst this comes handy in my current role.
The hardest part about upskilling is finding the domain in which you want to upskill. The rest you can easily figure out with the help of Google. There are plenty of training websites- Pluralsight.com, Lynda and the ubiquitous Youtube.com. But before plunging into the massive pool of knowledge jot down what are you trying to achieve and set a timeline and some objectives.
Everyone knows that networking is the key when looking for a new job. But how do you do it effectively?
- Free Events -London is a city full of free technical and social events. There are plenty of meetups to keep you busy in the evenings. Participate, contribute and let everyone know that you are available to work. If this doesn’t directly help you find a job, it will definitely help you perfect your selling pitch. I introduced myself to 25 companies at a popular tech recruitment event, Silicon Milkroundabout. In my next interview I was able to give, confident and prepared answers to every question, after practice at the event.
- Reach out – Connect with every possible person who can help you find your job. Put your ego aside and speak to friends, colleagues that you haven’t spoken in a long time. We all go through this phase. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes, we all need a helping hand from time to time. It shows you are proactive and willing to take that extra step.
- Perfect your pitch – An interview is about selling yourself to the company. This can only be done with practice. Jot down your answers. Read them out aloud and Practice with a friend.
The final one-
7. Be positive!!
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision” -Dalai Lama.
The important thing is to accept the situation, use your resources, be productive and make the best out of it. It took me four months to find the right job for me. Some people take less time and others more.
A well-wisher referred me to AND Digital and the experience so far has been awesome and so right for me! And for the job-seekers out there, we are still hiring
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