Job Search Update: June 2016 & I’m Employed!

After May, I stared at my job search stats with dismay. I applied to more than 20 jobs in that month and no one hired me. Sure, I got some interviews but that is only half the battle when it comes to job searching. This month, I changed my strategy.

Setting a Target

When I got out of school, I aimed to find a source of income as soon as possible. I did set boundaries. I will not return to retail. I already had that experience. While I enjoyed retail when I was in my second year of undergrad, I soon became intolerant of the lack of shifts and blistered feet. However, as I began to look for work, I realized that the limit I had set was not good enough.

I applied to jobs as a receptionist, pharmacy assistant, graphic designer, or social media specialist. After much reflection at my futile job search, I forced myself to be picky – to only apply to jobs I am excited for. I narrowed my job search and I focused on jobs where I got to make graphics. After all, this was something I enjoyed. As a result, I only applied to 10 jobs in June, all of which were online applications.

Expanding my Network

I began to contact medical illustrators based on the GTA region. Most of them quickly replied and I was able to ask my questions via email. I did not set any meetings since they were so quick to reply to my questions. They were also clear in their advice for me. I initially thought they would offer similar advice yet each person offered a different view.

One suggested that I look into animation. While illustrations are important in effectively communicating science, much of the field is branching to 3D modeling and animation. This was a skill I still have to learn. I had been so focused on traditional and digital drawing that I had not thought about exploring 3D animation. I have definitely added “Learn 3D animation” to my long to-do list.

80/20 Rule & My Bullet Journal Landed Me a Job

Between May and June, I was unemployed. I filled my spare time with painting and going to my internship. I was a Marketing Intern at a business incubator. I only had one full day shift. Never would I have thought that they would hire me as a Project Manager after two months of working there. I didn’t even know they were hiring!

I had been open to telling my coworkers and supervisor that I had been looking for a job. As I went to work once a week, I became closer with everyone little by little. (Note: I’m not entirely sure if this is how everything happened but this is my reflection, my coworkers might disagree with me.) As I became more open, I like to think that some of my traits and skills began to reveal themselves. For example, my bullet journal was one of the main reasons I got hired. One day, I was updating my bullet journal and my co-worker discovered my handwriting. She then became my “rep”. She shamelessly showcased my bullet journal to the office. I wasn’t offended either – after all, I loved my bullet journal. I kid you not, without her praise and eagerness to share my work, I would not have been here. I love organizing and writing down ideas. I also love creating calendars and writing a to-do list (NERD!). Who knew that my favorite hobby would help me get this job. It revealed that I had organization skills.

So thank you (you know who you are). I am also thankful for my supervisor (you know who you are too). She was the one who recommended me for the position. Because of my co-worker, my supervisor, my bullet journal, and my never ending prayers, I was blessed with a job that I did not expect at all.

What happened to me last month is also evidence of the 80/20 rule. When I worked at the Career Centre, we were taught that only 20% of jobs were ever posted. The other 80% was found through networking, cold calling, or internal hiring. While I had applied to more than 40 jobs between May and June, it was through internal hiring that I became employed.

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