Have you ever gotten a job when you weren’t even looking? ………..How often does that happen?
Well, I don’t mean to brag, but this could happen to anyone as long as you remain open minded so that when a chance experience comes along ….you go for it! Don’t sit around and wait for it to happen. You have to take risks ……….. try new approaches. You never know how it might turn out.
I’ll tell you my experience and then you might want to take that risk next time. I was very happy in my bookkeeping job at a small non-profit organization. However, I picked up the phone one day and a friend, who happened to be an Employment Counsellor, said “I have a job posting here and it sounds like the perfect job for you!” The first thing I thought was…..”Aren’t I already in the perfect job for me?” Then I thought of the last time I updated my résumé or had an interview…..it was 3 years. I should apply for this job just to keep updated and practice my interviewing skills. What the heck! So this is what I did:
- Got a copy of the job posting. It was very interesting and a nice increase in pay!! Bonus!!
- Updated my résumé targeting this exact posting
- Wrote a cover letter and sent it and my targeted résumé to the company
OK, that was good practice….and then I got a call from the company to come for a computer test. A lot of businesses have this as part of the interview process if computers are a big part of the job. Now I was nice and relaxed because my future was not riding on this test. I spent a few minutes in conversation with the person that set me up on the laptop to do the test. This interaction was good because she was later asked by the interview panel who she liked and she mentioned ME because I was the only candidate who actually took the time to have a short conversation with her.
I was called for an interview and was very relaxed yet honest and professional to the interview panel…not so relaxed that I looked bored or cocky…..that is a no no for interviews. So this is what I did:
- Smiled and used a firm handshake
- Made eye contact to the person asking the question as well as to the others on the panel
- Did not fidget or cross my arms…..body language says a lot!
- Answered all the questions with honest, personal or professional examples
- Offered a portfolio for panel to review or referred to examples in portfolio to answer question
- Asked a few questions of my own at the end
- Provided references
- Sent a thank you note off to the HR person after the interview
I was sitting at work the next day when my colleague got a call from the panel as one of my references at the same time I was talking to another reference who called to say they just talked to the panel. I don’t think it was 10 seconds after I hung up the phone and they called and offered me the position!
To make a long story short……I accepted the position and 6 months later I would have been laid off of my perfect job that I didn’t think I needed to leave. The moral of this story is jump on every opportunity, take risks because you never know…….
Dawn Walker is a Continuing Education Student currently studying with the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, www.mcaces.ca or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at Lidia.firstname.lastname@example.org