Friday, May 6, 2016

The Changes LA Fellows Has Made in My Job Search

The LA Fellows of Cohort 11 were an eager and successful class in getting job interviews during the program. Eight had accepted job offers by graduation day and more offers were in process. One of the Fellows sent an email to their Cohort talking about an interview experience that didn't turn into an offer, and how the program helped them deal with that disappointment in a more positive, healthier way than they may have in the past:

A week before graduation, I'd received a pretty formulaic email rejection for a job that I was really excited about. I had a pretty good idea which answer in the interview knocked me out of the running. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got over not getting the job and blamed myself.

Halfway through the graduation ceremony I had an "Aha!" moment and realized "I can address the outstanding issues in an email to HR." I emailed my HR contact and asked her to pass on a message to the hiring manager expressing my disappointment, clarifying the issue that might have been problematic and wishing them well.

Later that evening I received a more personal email. The HR contact let me know that what I thought might be a stumbling block to getting the job wasn't a concern to the employer at all - it really was just that the other candidate was a better overall fit for that position. She encouraged me to continue applying for other jobs at the company. Had I not followed up, I might have needlessly shut the door on future opportunities.

Lessons learned: It's not all about me. It is all about fit. There's always another bus (job) coming along.
If this had happened before I started in LA Fellows, I would have:
  • Written a perfunctory response to the turndown email. If HR had written back, I would have found it too painful to read the email and deleted it.
  • Made a coy but sad post on Facebook and vented all weekend to friends on the phone or via private message.
  • Continued to beat myself up over things I could not change and feel horrible.

Instead, thanks to my LA Fellows training:
  • I reached out to my network (Fellows and non-Fellows) for support and constructive feedback.
  • I continued to work on other projects and leads and set up informational interviews because, although I hoped this opportunity would be the end of my search, I knew not to put all my eggs in one basket.
  • I am convinced that since I didn't get it, it was not the job for me, and am ready to move on in my search for other opportunities.

I'm sharing this with you now to remind you of what Lynnette taught us in class: do your best and move on. Don't over-think every job opportunity, don't take rejection too personally, and keep taking actions that will move your job search forward. Dwelling on the negative only serves to slow you down. LA Fellows set me up to be more successful, more productive, and smarter in my job search. I value the training I received and the connections that I've made and I know that it will help me find a position that's right for me.

This post was edited with permission of the author.