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So I have not blogged lately as I have been a bit preoccupied with a new job at a country club and resort. The job’s specifics are hard to explain, at first I thought it was part-time because of the number of hours they were giving me (which I guess was just part of the training period) but now seems to be full-time. Management just changed recently so things are chaotic, despite being full-time one does not get benefits until working there for over a year, one cannot make a lifelong career out of this position, etc. Okay, so it is far from PERFECT. But it’s a JOB, right? Right?????
That’s what I try to keep reminding myself as I continue to apply for what feels like hundreds of jobs in my desired field yet hear nothing back, but some days I get so frustrated because this is certainly not where I imagined I would be at this point. “Baby steps” is what everyone keeps telling me.
One day, while searching job sites, I came across a blog called Career Transitions written by Katharine Brooks. The blog is part of a bigger blogging network called Psychology Today, but seemed to have some good career advice. Then I stumbled onto one of her posts about MacGuffin (a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock) jobs…an idea which pretty much summed up my mantra of “baby steps.”
MacGuffin jobs according to Brooks, “are common for career changers or recent graduates. They are jobs that aren’t ultimately important in the long run, and may only last a short time, but can play a key role in shaping a career.” In other words, the job that doesn’t seem perfect can lead to networking opportunities, increased skills, an opportunity that you never would have thought of or been able to receive before, or even lead you to realize new and different things that you might want to do (or not do) on your career path.
Brooks goes on to remind her readers that the MacGuffin jobs, though not perfect or entirely desirable, are important because, “it’s not what they are, it’s where they lead.” She continues saying, “So if you’re looking to transition into a new career or seeking your first job out of college don’t dismiss the not-so-perfect job. It might just be a MacGuffin that will propel you to a new act or chapter in your life. College seniors entering the job market tend to assume that the first job after graduation is crucial: that if they make a “mistake” in selecting their first job, their career path is doomed. If the first job isn’t perfect it makes them question their time in college. What they don’t understand is that the first job is often a MacGuffin– simultaneously important and unimportant.”
Definitely some great advice to keep in mind!
To read Brooks’ post on MacGuffin jobs: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201003/macguffin-jobs
To read Brooks’ Career Transitions blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions
Posted in The Job Search on June 9, 2010
So you’ve perfected your resume, wrote a cover letter, and sent them out to companies. Then you get a call back for an interview! Your very first one! Awesome and exciting, right? Yea! Until the “first interview jitters” set in…
This was my experience last week. I got the call, set up a time for an interview and was completely ecstatic….then within minutes I began to experience a level of nervousness I didn’t even know existed!!
I survived the interview unscathed, and in fact feel very lucky that I had such a positive first interview experience. Here are some tips that might help you get over the “jitters.”
- PREPARATION. Going blind into an interview will most likely never end well. Research the company, see if they have a mission statement, become familiar with the responsibilities of the position you are applying for, practice your answers to common interview questions, make sure your suit or interview outfit is ready to go, come up with questions to ask of the person/people interviewing you, etc.
- TRAVEL. Know how you are getting there. Whether by train, car, plane, whatever, make sure you have directions and leave yourself plenty of time to get there. You might want to Google coffee shops in the area so that if you arrive with time to spare you can get a cup of coffee or bottle of water and use their restroom to make sure you are ready (all tucked in, nothing in your teeth, etc!). Don’t be late, but definitely don’t be too early! 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time is usually sufficient to get to the office.
- FRIENDS. If you’re feeling super nervous and your friends are around, try making plans with them. Hit the beach, go to the movies, or get together to play video games in order to relax and take your mind off of the upcoming interview for a bit. If you can’t get together before, definitely catch up afterwards. Your friends will not only want to hear how it went, but your experience could also help them in their own interviews!
- FOLLOW UP. Make sure you send a thank you email to the person/people you interviewed with (remember to ask for their business cards if they don’t just give them to you!) 24 hours after your interview. Thank the person/people for their time, reiterate your interest in the position and perhaps briefly restate why you are qualified for the position or how you might contribute to the company. Try and remember to keep it short and sweet, though – no more than a few brief paragraphs!
- PERSPECTIVE. The truth is, that even if we nail an interview and we are convinced that the job is PERFECT for us, we may still be disappointed by a company’s hiring decision at some point in our lives. It is hard, but try to keep perspective, look at the positive side, and push on with the job search. Any interview we go through is great experience – it helps us strengthen our communication skills and become more comfortable answering questions about ourselves, skills, and experiences.