Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the little job searching RPCV that could

Job searching is not easy. In the past I was very fortunate because the jobs I found seemed almost to fall in my lap. I remember after graduating from Western, I sent out probably at least 50 resumes, all focused in the event planning industry in California. I had my heart set on moving there and starting life on the West coast. My backup plan was to work these leadership conferences until something permanent came up - nothing did, I worked a few more conferences than I planned and ended up working for them full time. All the way on the other coast, in Washington DC. It worked out and there really wasn't a long period of time that I wasn't unemployed. And I'm happy that's the path that found me - it led me to many more amazing opportunities and people and now I've found myself an RPCV living in South Africa, living my dream.

Now, the reality of this dream is that currently I'm unemployed and looking for both part time work to fill the next few months until we move to Durban and a full time job that I can start once we actually get there. I'm fortunate because Jason is able to support the both of us while I sit unemployed in our living room day after day. I've been trying to convince myself that my measly efforts over the past couple months were enough to justify staring at my computer most of the day. Only last week did I realize that maybe I should put a bit more effort into it - this time the jobs just aren't falling into my lap so clearly there is more that I need to be doing. I have to get out there and do the uncomfortable which mostly consists of inviting myself into organizations that aren't actually hiring at the moment, charm them and hope they either a) find a job for me to do, or b) remember me when a position does actually open up. This requires a level of confidence that is not always easy to come by and has therefore stopped me from setting up these meetings. And when I find myself surrounded by professionals in the field that have many more years of experience/knowledge and could possibly have contacts for me, sometimes I am plagued by the insecure thoughts that I just don't know enough, I'm not worthy. Then I find myself in a situation where I should be spouting off about who I am and what I want to be doing but instead can't seem to spit a coherent word out and have just missed out on an opportunity to do some quality networking.

So here's my pep talk to myself: I can do it, I am a smart, educated woman and I can be confident (even if inside I'm thoroughly intimidated). I may not know everything but that's ok - I will show them my willingness to learn and my passion about the field. Don't focus on the feeling of not having enough experience, highlight the last 2 years, where I gained valuable insights into non-profit works as well as development and working with the community (thank you peace corps). And as Jason put it, get over the feeling of insecurity - there will always be someone smarter, wiser, more experienced and that's ok. And if all else fails, just repeat "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." If a little engine can, so can I.

1 comment:

Envelope Printing said...

Remember that there are other people in worse predicaments. You're lucky you have the support of your loved ones :) Always look to them for inspiration. I'm sure the right job will come in its time. Good luck!