Posts Tagged ‘GGG Firsthand’

I got a feeling…that this job’s gonna be the right fit

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 5:48 pm

Name: Jennifer Padron

Current role: Account manager at a marketing agency

Job Search length: Seven months

When I graduated from college, at first, life indulged me. I had a paid position as a full-time intern for a global snack food brand. I spent eight months filling my head with vast amounts of knowledge in my field, and learning lessons great and small (great being how to interact with the media, small being how to un-jam the copier).  Ultimately, there was no full-time position available to be offered at the end of my internship.

The next six months were like playing a game. At first, the hunt for my first “real” job felt like a fun challenge. I’d find something that intrigued me during one of my many online searches, giddily reply, and await a response. After a lot of waiting, the game had gone on too long, and I was tired of feeling, well, tired. And broke. And defeated. Job-searching became my full-time job. I would wake up, eat breakfast, apply for jobs, take a lunch break and walk the dog, send resumes out, break for dinner and walk the dog, and apply for more jobs, all the while refreshing my e-mail continuously, just in case.

I applied for hundreds of jobs (no kidding), and interviewed for about ten positions. Some interviews went better than others. There was the position I applied for at a temp agency an hour and a half from my home. The position sounded fantastic, so I dressed in my nicest pant suit and memorized my resume, only to be told at the end of the interview that the job I had applied for was filled. Then there was the interview at a green engineering firm that I was positive I nailed. I met with the CEO, we talked business and shared a laugh, and he said I’d hear from him within two weeks. After the two weeks were up, I got in touch to say I was still very interested. Two more weeks after that, the empathetic human resources rep called to deliver the bad news.

However, with each meeting, I learned something new and improved my technique for the next time.  During one interview, I noticed that I kept saying “I love it!” after almost everything the employer said. I “loved” that the building had history, that they had an office cat, and that I would have a tiny office with an even tinier desk. I knew I should stop saying it, but I was nervous, so it escaped from my lips after every other sentence. Though I’m sure that my enthusiasm was evident, I took the rejection letter I received in the mail a week later as a hint: tone it down.

I also figured out how important it is to always, always ask questions. I learned this lesson the hard way, after missing out on a few great opportunities because I was speechless at the end of the interview. The employer wants to know that you’re interested, and that you have a stake in the company and in your own career.

Also, the more I interviewed, my vision of what I wanted became clearer. It’s easy to forget that while an employer is interviewing you, you’re also interviewing them. After several interviews at large, corporate firms, I decided that I could make more of an impact at a smaller company. I also realized that it was important for me to be a part of a team environment, and not to be isolated with my work.

Finally I interviewed at my—spoiler alert—current place of work, after applying for the position on a popular online job forum, as I had applied for hundreds of others. As cheesy as it sounds, I got “the feeling” as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. Maybe it was because I was so genuinely impressed by the company’s work, or maybe it’s because I truly felt confident in myself and what I wanted. I think it was a mixture of both. I went into the interview feeling self-assured and was able to hold great conversations with several of my interviewers. When the end of our meeting rolled around, I was prepared with several thoughtful questions.

I was called back for a second interview about a week later.  Though I hadn’t had direct experience with every aspect of the job I was applying for, I felt that the opportunity to learn and grow was strong. The interviewers emphasized the value of learning from “the bottom up”, which I appreciated. As cliché as it sounds, the position just felt like a good fit. They thought so, too; on my birthday, they called me and offered me a job.

Through this seven-months long process I found out that it’s important to keep an open mind, but also to listen to that gut instinct. And when the right opportunity did come along, the Go-Getter Girl inside of me was grateful… and ready to rock it!

Jennifer Padron

Seeing is Believing! How to Create a Vision Board

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 2:13 pm

[Editor's Note: The following GGG Firsthand was written by Rashana A. Hooks]

Growing up, my mother would always tell me to keep my “eyes on the prize.” As an educator, she instilled in me that education was the key to success, and if I wanted to become successful I not only needed a college degree; I needed a vision of what I wanted to accomplish.

I’d heard about vision boards for a while, and I learned how to fully create one from an article in O, The Oprah Magazine. The purpose of the board is to help you see your goals and dreams clearly by using images and sayings/quotes that represent your aspirations.

Here’s how it works: There are three main elements on my board (which you can see above!). The first are quotes–motivational sayings to encourage me, inspire me, and lift me up. The second element is photos that represent my short-term and long-term goals, such as becoming a published author, owning my own home (including a summer home in South Hampton!), and increasing my salary in the next couple of years. There are picture clippings of Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Desiree Rogers to remind me that intelligence, beauty and being all around fabulous is so sexy. I also have dreamy pictures of sandy white beaches with blue waters to motivate me to continue to work hard so I can take beautiful vacations! Symbolically, the third and last element is a photograph that represents my spirituality. Its purpose is to keep me centered, focused and humbled.

I keep the board above my computer in my home office, and look at it for a boost of confidence before I begin a new project, or to help me refocus after a setback. Not long ago I was in a job that I was absolutely not passionate about.  I went to my vision board, and one particular quote caught my attention that day: “Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.” It was at that moment I knew I deserved to be happy doing what I wanted and I was not going to stop until I reached that goal. I’ve since left that job and have been freelance writing. Two of my proudest accomplishments since? My short story titled “GOAL DIGGER” is published in the anthology Souls of My Young Sisters, Kensington Publishing 2010, and I’m now nearing the steps to owning my first home.

Thinking about giving a vision board a try? Here are a few steps to create your own:

  1. Write down your dreams, goals, and aspirations (Be very, very specific).
  2. Get a poster board, small to mid-size bulletin board or a large sheet of paper (11 x 14).
  3. Grab a few magazines, tape and a pair of scissors.
  4. Search the magazine for pictures that mirror the goals and dreams you identified in step #1.
  5. Place your selected clippings onto the board.
  6. Take a few minutes to look at each “vision” and then envision yourself achieving them.
  7. Place the board at eye level, in a place you frequent often.
  8. Look at the board every day – and keep your eyes on the prize!
  9. Revise your board from time to time, replacing completed goals with new ones.

Rashana A. Hooks