[A & R’s Big Adventure] Part 6 – The Job Hunt Is OVER! (Or Is It?)

Since we moved, I have technically been employed in some form since we got here. However, there was a one-week period where I was only working a few days a week at Intrigue Chocolate Co. It was my only job. If you count job hunting as a job (which I actually do), then, OK, I had two jobs.

My first interview was scheduled the second week I had been in Seattle. The condensed version is that I had talked to the hiring manager while I was still in California. I had indicated that I was not interested in a sales position. He explicitly said “It’s not a sales position. It’s a consultant position.” “Perfect!” I thought to myself. So, it came as a shock to me when I had my face-to-face interview that within 5 minutes of sitting down, I was quickly shown the door.

The conversation started pleasantly enough, until I stated “I do not want to work in sales.” The hiring manager (for visuals, he reminded me of Dean Pelton from the TV show/Yahoo series “Community”) got all wide-eyed and said, “This is a sales position. And with that, he abruptly ended the interview.

Yes, my first Seattle interview went swimmingly (oh) well.

I’m always job searching, but moving to a new city in a different state presented new challenges. Since I don’t know anyone here really, it’s difficult to network. So, I had to pull up my big girl corporate panties and put myself out there.


Sometimes in the job hunt, you feel stuck.

In no particular order, here are the phases of my job hunting experience.

  • Putting My Best Foot Forward (Virtually)
    Being an introverted and shy person, networking is probably the word I dread the most when it comes to job hunting. The advice I was given is that networking is your best weapon in the hunt. Simply filling out the online application or sending out your resume just doesn’t cut it.With much dread, I logged into LinkedIn. I started out e-mailing people I remotely knew. For instance, I got in contact with the owner of Savor Seattle, a walking food tour company. Then I started e-mailing former colleagues and supervisors. Lastly, I targeted various recruiters from staffing agencies.In some ways, it started to get easier, but I felt a lot of shame, especially when contacting former colleagues and supervisors. Basically, my e-mails would be read like this (only in a more polished version): “Hey [name of former colleague/supervisor] who you probably don’t remember: I picked up my belongings and plopped them down in a new city. I have a roof over my head, but have no clue how I’m going to pay for it. Are your or anyone you know hiring?”There were a few positives that came out of my approach:
    1. I made a new friend/supporter. One of my old co-workers who had recently moved from California to North Carolina for a new job opportunity put me in touch with a woman who had retired from the company we both used to work for. I’ll just use her initials, BA. BA and I have been corresponding pretty much on a weekly basis. Although she wasn’t able to get me in touch with anyone regarding job opportunities, she had dispensed some valuable career advice, as well as being a shoulder to cry on.2. I landed my temp job with a major company in Seattle. I sought out a recruiter who indicated on her LinkedIn profile that she recruited for this specific company. I connected with her and hoped for the best. Although the agency she works for failed on me twice (for one job, I got the interview but no offer; for the other job, the company passed on me altogether), she finally came through. If anything, I think working here is a rite of passage for anyone who moves to Seattle. It’s pretty interesting to see the company from the outside and then the inside.

  • Enduring the Agony of Rejection… Again, and Again, and Again
    Rejection sucks. There is just no way around it. However, I must say, the bright side is actually getting an interview in the first place. There has got to be some badge of honor for having a great resume and/or cover letter that makes someone think, “Hey, I’d like to bring this candidate in for some facetime.” Still, having had 4 interviews and the resulting non offers over the course of 2-3 months was a big blow. This doesn’t even include the other dozens of rejection e-mails and, perhaps even worse, the non-response from other companies I had applied to.I fear and loathe failure. Every type of rejection feels like another stab in the heart. For a while, it seemed like friends or acquaintances who were looking for jobs each finally landed a permanent position. Every time it happened, I thought, “I’m next!” as if we were standing in line at the DMV. But as the time passed, my hope started to fade.

  • Increased Rejections = Improved Resumes
    Despite the pain of rejection, there was a bright side (I suppose). Each time I applied, I would review my resume and make tweaks. Sometimes I would just have this “Aha!” moment, such as using a stronger word or remembering some other accomplishment that I had not thought of before.Even though re-looking at my resume for the umpteenth time felt like looking at my face in the mirror after having a hangover, I know changes had to be made. Every. Single. Time. It’s definitely time-consuming and gut-wrenching, but it has to be done.

Maybe the tweaks didn’t lead to offers left and right, but I sure felt better inside. It meant that I was not giving up, even though it would have seemed easier to do so.

So, here I am, approximately 3.5 months since I have had a permanent position. My former co-worker tipped me off to an opening at the company’s Seattle office. I had looked everywhere but at my old company. Why? There was no opening at the time I had arrived, so I figured there wouldn’t be one in the near future.

Although the position a step down from what I used to do, I decided to go for it. Moving to Seattle was a time for me to refresh and renew. I want to try new things instead of rejecting them without even trying. This was probably one of my mistakes from before. I wanted to continue moving up and up. But in doing so, I probably missed out on opportunities — to meet new people, attain new skills, and simply have the experience.

For instance, the work I do at Intrigue Chocolate Co. is pretty basic — I apply labels to truffles and truffle bars. It seems simple enough. However, I learned there is a bit of marketing to the technique. As one of the co-owners described it to me (I’m paraphrasing here), “unwrapping a truffle should be an experience” for the consumer. In addition, I’ve learned about proper food preparation and handling. I have never worked in a kitchen before. So, I’m pretty fascinated by the things I don’t know from years sitting in front of a computer.

Anyway, two weeks after my interview, I received an offer. Then a few minutes after that, I was contacted by a hiring manager for a different job at a different company that I had applied for. This job is a stepping stone to my preferred (or should I say next) career path. I am not sure if I will get it or not, but the thought of having 2 offers on the table astounds me. It would definitely be a first.

I didn’t know how long my job search would last, but one thing is for sure – I was going to try hard and not give up (though I did take a month-long break).

My advice is (though it’s hypocritical to type this since I don’t listen to it myself is) to never give up. Take a break if you have to, cry if you need to, or find a shoulder to lean on. I also read a lot of career articles and only took to heart the ones I felt comfortable with. Everyone is different. Now go out there and put your best face and foot forward!


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