From Isolation in the Peace Corps to Job-Seeking in New York…Whew.

In response to my last post, I received this comment from a wonderful woman:

I think you could write about getting re-acclimated to the U.S., making decisions about school and career, sharing your insight into the things you are passionate about.

These are the things I would like to write about—but sometimes it’s hard to see the trees for the forest and actually choose something specific. These are large topics. That said, I’m glad to get this tip for what to write about because it has helped me pick out a tree or two in the complicated and diverse forest that is rebuilding a life here in the USA. Specifically: the job search.

Now that we’re 90% sure of where we are moving to, I have taken the plunge and started to apply for jobs. So far, I have applied for 3 positions (all within the organization I am interning for, but at a location on the other side of the country), done a ton of research on job search advice, done 3 interviews, and have another interview scheduled for next week.

With all this experience fresh in mind, I wanted to add to the ocean of tips for job seekers that is out there, because SO much of it has not applied to my experience or been great advice for someone like me: an ambitious and professional introvert with excellent experience and work ethic, but who has a nearly impossible time portraying these qualities in an interview due to serious anxiety in a self-promoting setting. I have not received a job offer yet, so maybe I haven’t proven myself to be someone who can give advice. But I CAN share my experiences, and maybe they’ll be, at best, helpful to someone or, at another kind of best, entertaining to others.


Please enjoy the first installment of my job-seeking experience. 🙂

Interview Numéro Un: A recruiter within the organization I’m interning for hears about my pending applications and wants to talk to me about moving into a career (out of an internship) with the IRC. She just moved here from the location I want to move to—a huge bonus! She says it will be an “informational interview,” about my ambitions.

What went wrong:

  • I showed up at the appointed time empty-handed, then had to run for my calendar and a pen. ALWAYS have your calendar and something to take notes with at an interview of any kind! Having a copy of your resume, etc., doesn’t hurt either.
  • I didn’t prepare. I guess I didn’t know what to expect in an informational interview with a recruiter, so I didn’t make any preparations. Upon reflection, it seems best to treat any scheduled conversation directly related with your job search as a job interview: Have answers prepared for likely questions, and come with questions of your own.

What went right:

  • Having just come from my office job across town, I looked great and was in business mode. Always look professional and ready to get down to business when the opportunities arise.
  • Though I hadn’t recognized her name (and she didn’t recognize mine, of course) when we arranged for the interview, as soon as we saw each other we both realized we had met before: her first day at IRC SLC we sat next together in the staff meeting and shared some small talk and laughs. Always present your best self and be friendly and professional at work. You never know who you’ll meet!

There is more where this came from, but I’d hate to put it all in one novel-length post. Stay tuned for the next installment of my job-search experience.


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