No success story is complete without the stories of failure which came before.
I have been very fortunate to have never been out of job. I recognise that this is not common place and would like to see more people share similar experiences of success in the job market. I do believe in entrepreneurship but I also believe that being an entrepreneur is not everyone’s path.
Last week I managed to secure 4 job offers over 48 hours. One of them was based purely on referral with no job interview nor job advert.
Lets go back to the beginning…
I am also fortunate to do what I enjoy doing which is to solve complex problems for large energy companies using specialised set of skills acquired over many years.
However, the energy (oil and gas) industry suffered a severe blow some 4 years back when the oil price came crashing down. This led to cost cutting and massive lay-offs. The once vibrant industry became a shadow of itself. My discipline suffered as O&G companies stopped funding new projects and focused on cost cutting measures only.
Prior to this time, my discipline/skills were highly sought after. I was usually head-hunted because of the peculiarity and scarcity of the skills required for my discipline:Assure hydrocarbon flow to minimise risks and maximise profit.
Find a unique skill, related to something you care about and hone it.
About a year ago, I began to look for a change in direction of my career. I wanted more than I was doing. So I began to search for my next adventure. And all the doors were shut…For the first time since my grad days I was making applications and was not getting a single interview. From being head-hunted to now not even entertained for an interview.
I began to look inwards. I began to make use of my networks. I made a list of people I had worked with a different points in my career and began to reach out to them via LinkedIn and doors began to open. I even reached out to my former bosses.
Build networks. Ensure you build strong relationships with people on your team. Don’t focus on what you can get from them but focus on how you can improve others.
Never burn old bridges, always leave with the door open.
I updated my profile on LinkedIn to carry keywords which were searchable for recruiters.
I began to receive invites for interviews. They went really well but I was informed that other candidates were selected over me on a couple of occasions. I was encouraged because this meant that the tides were turning and I saw those as opportunities to sharpen my blunt interview skills. See Top Interview Tips.
Always seek feedback no matter the outcome of the interview.
Never see disappointment as failure, instead see them as opportunities for improvement.
I had heard somewhere that, depending on the industry, you secure a job after an average of 3-5 interviews.
With each interview, my confidence was building and I realised I was just being prepared for the ones destined for me.
As the industry began to recover, companies began to hire. People who I had reached out to previously began to put my name forward when asked “Who would you recommend to join our team?” I had consciously built a reputation of excellence over the years wherever I worked and people could vouch for me. This was how a hiring manager connected with me on WhatsApp and ended up offering me a position without an interview. “Many people on my team speak highly of you“, he said.
Build a positive reputation wherever you go. Reputation is an asset.
The tempo of the interviews changed. I was in the driving sit many times. I learnt to research the roles and understand the need of the company. I then tailored my responses and statements to their specific needs which always resonated with them.
The one who does their homework that gets the job.
This post would not be complete without the role of faith. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and divine intervention. This, I believe, is the difference between my experience and that of someone else who does same but has not received the same results.
As you play your part, beckon on Heaven that it’s doors may be open over your endeavours.