How I found my job

Thank you EcoCatLady and Mydearbakes for your nice comments and to Crayons and milk, CharmingTrinity and Stephanie for the likes. Blogging is all the more fun when people interact, so please don’t be shy on commenting :-) It makes me smile after a bad day at work, so thanks again. And now on to the post…

I’m so glad to have employment right now. I’m still in my probationary period and am not sure if this role is 100% right for me – but a wage while I’m considering it is great. Over the last 4 or 5 years (I can’t believe it’s that long) I have had some bad luck with finding good, permanent employment and was hoping this place would turn around for me… but let’s wait and see. The point is, I might put myself back on the job market and I thought it might be good to share how I got this job in case it helps someone out who’s in a situation like I was.

After reading a book called “The Little Door-Opener” (which I would recommend to anyone who can read german), I was first of all saddened to find out that sending a PDF file with my CV and work samples just wasn’t going to cut it. Apparently companies miss the “good old days” where they would get hand-made applications and find it too easy for people to hide behind their computers and they don’t want an employee like that. Makes sense, right?

That was a bitter pill to swallow because it meant that I needed to get a printed portfolio together, which meant €€€ on printing and material costs and spend time coming up with an “idea” to hold it all together. The last months in my previous job I developed nothing new to add to my portfolio since I was making showcases for the company’s work and that made matters worse, since I had to “invent” work to bulk it out. Which is fine, it’s just a lot of work.

So in a few weeks, I collected everything, decided to make myself a little logo and get a hand-embosser made with it to embellish my applications, some handmade envelopes and a booklet with some samples of my work. More importantly I decided on (gulp) cold calling the company to ask if they would mind accpeting an application and arriving a few hours later to hand in my application to the person I spoke to. So, this meant phonecalls and lots of walking in the snow.

But you know what? I’m really glad I did it this way. I got to see at first hand what the companies were like on the inside, got a personal connection, and had a few interviews with good companies in just a few days, and a job offer within a few weeks, which was a record for me. It was scary, sometimes walking into somewhere where you think will be a reception and instead it ends up being directly into the office… that was embarassing! But whatever.

I had my first experience of sitting on the other side of the interview panel a few weeks ago, and, the biggest eye opener for me was the realisation that the candidate came across as undecided because they didn’t speak about what they want or what they love to do. In my last interview I was very frank and said that “I’m basically looking for my opportunity to work in a big company and get experience with XYZ” and I think that really came across well, as well as saying “I love to do this…” etc.

So I can only tell you what worked for me, and I wouldn’t do it any other way next time.

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