RealJobs: Chris Nunez

Chris Nunez’s work days from Tuesday, February 9 through Thursday, February 11, 2010.

Well the snow has continued to fall and traveling via car every day to go to various stores, I have been sidelined almost all week.  I have had reports finish and various projects to do that my boss wants me to complete but other than that it has been one of the most restful work weeks I can ever remember (and will likely never have again).

Seeing how I just graduated I figured it would be a good time to talk about the job search & the transition from solely looking for jobs to finally starting to work.  When I graduated last May, I was not excited to start the extensive searching with millions of other Americans as so many people with more experience than I were also out of work and were looking for any type of job.  It took me about a month after graduating to get serious about finding a job and really hunker down and push myself to really spend time looking for interesting jobs.  With so many people out of work and very few openings, it felt as though people were applying to anything they could find even if they had no experience in it and with employers being overwhelmed by thousands and thousands of resumes my sights were set low.  I had read an article that it would take the graduating class of ’09 in the United States  6 months or more to find work.  With that statistic looming over my head I decided to get serious and get a job before that 6 month span.

It was exciting at first sending out resumes to all types of jobs from sales & marketing to selling life insurance and anything that I thought looked half interesting.  Getting phone calls from employers to set up interviews gave me confidence in the fact that this would be an easy time for me and I would land something within the first few weeks of searching.  However, my ignorance was soon to hit me in the face as I went on my first batch of interviews and was not given an offer.  I knew it was a tough economy so I pressed on and continued sending 6-8 job applications out every day.  The next group of interviews came and went with much the same story.  I would go to interviews, leave them feeling confident only to be called later on in the week with the employers saying “you were a great candidate but with so many people applying we could not hire everyone.”  Because you would only be able to schedule a certain amount of interviews per week, every time you were rejected from that weeks interviews it felt like you were just back at square one.  After my third go round of interviewing and not having an offer to show for it, it started to wear on my psyche.  I took it personally and felt like it was me that they weren’t hiring but my one (of many) pieces of advice would be to keep at it.  I hadn’t come to grips with the fact that there were millions upon millions (some say as many as 7 million people were laid off over the 2 year span between 2008 – 2009) of people that were in the job market trying anything they could to get some semblance of work.  With the sheer amount of people applying for all types of jobs does not make it easy on the candidates but it also puts the employers in a tough spot as they are seeing the best and the brightest and can only take one, if their budget even allows for them to hire.  It is easy to get down on yourself and take a couple of days off from job searching, let that snowball into a week of no job searching and soon enough you have let two weeks go by with absolutely nothing to show for all your previous hard work during the weeks prior.

I soon began to realize that all the interviews I had been on (by the end of the summer it totaled almost 2 dozen) were invaluable experience that I would late be able to use.  Some people say that interviewing is tough because you don’t want to seem too confident and have to brag about yourself all the time but that interview experience allows you to become much more comfortable talking about the things that separate you from other candidates and after a while you don’t have to stress yourself out trying to think about what to say because you will know what the employers liked from the previous interviews you have had and will thus be able to speak more eloquently about yourself and your characteristics.  Interviews are a big step in the job searching process and do not ever assume you will get a job because you felt like it went well.  Be optimistic but know that it is going to take this economy a few years to stabilize and that is just the nature of the beast.  Not everyone can be hired but I remember what my dad told me one night when I was frustrated with the whole process and felt like giving up.  He said “every single no and every single rejection you get brings you closer to getting a yes.”   At times it seemed like it would never end but it is very unlikely that you will search and search and search and find nothing.  No one searches their whole life and finds nothing.  We are just unfortunately in a time where the fact remains it will take the majority of people looking for jobs an extended amount of time to find one.  But again, just see the process as a whole and how you can become comfortable and gain invaluable experience even through searching and interviewing.

This was a confusing jumble of words as I know I rambled on and on but maybe that is what the whole process is kind of like.  It is stressful, confusing, frustrating, and at times demoralizing but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and I would say to anyone just starting the process, do not put it off until tomorrow as sometimes we get ourselves into that mindset when it comes to academics.  Sure you can write a 10 page paper by pulling an all-nighter but jobs do not come out of thin air.  Job searching is a serious step in getting yourself indoctrinated into the “real world” but don’t be afraid of failure and certainly be confident knowing you have graduated from one of the top universities in the United States and have many contacts at your disposal through the Career Center that can help you through a seemingly impossible process.  And when you do finally hear that “Yes,” it will be all the sweeter knowing that you put in hard work and were determined to find a job.

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