How to Overcome a Lack of Career Clarity: Jasmin Huila’s Job Search Success Story
Have you had a series of jobs, but they don’t feel like exactly what you want? If you want to find your dream job, you have to get clear on what kind of job would be the perfect fit for you. On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Jasmin Huila shares why her first positions out of college weren’t the right fit, how she finally made decisions on what she wanted, and the process she used to set specific career goals. Learn more about Jasmin’s career history below in this installment of our Success Stories series.
Find Your Dream Job, Bonus Episode 63:
How to Overcome a Lack of Career Clarity: Jasmin Huila’s Job Search Success Story
Airdate: April 3, 2023
This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.
I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.
One of the best ways to get good at job hunting is to talk to people who do it well.
That’s why once a month, I interview a Mac’s List reader who found a job they love.
Our guest today is Jasmin Huila. She’s the community outreach coordinator at the Mid-Columbia Medical Center.
It’s a hospital in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge that provides exceptional health services through person-centered care.
Jasmin Huila believes in the power of setting career goals.
In a story you can find on the Mac’s List website, Jasmin says she was grateful for her first two jobs after college.
But she also knew these positions weren’t her dream jobs. So Jasmin got clear about what she wanted.
And after doing this work, she knew her current job would be the perfect fit.
Why do you love your job, Jasmin?
You know, I love my job because I do a little bit of everything. I do community outreach. I help the migrant subsistence farm-working population here in the Columbia Gorge. I collaborate with a lot of community partners to provide health services and resources to marginalized communities, and I also do grant management. So I think it’s a little bit of everything, and it helps me learn and develop new skills, and that is why I love my job.
And your employer, the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, it’s different from other hospitals. Can you talk more about that?
Yeah, so it’s the rural hospital that serves the Columbia Gorge. We have outpatient clinics, an emergency department, and urgent care. So I believe we are the, in the Columbia Gorge, we are the only urgent care. So we do stand out in that sense. And then we provide a lot of resources and patient navigation to patients that need help navigating different systems.
Let’s talk about your job search, Jasmin. You didn’t find your dream job right after college. Tell us what happened after you earned your Bachelor’s Degree.
Yeah, well, I graduated during the pandemic in June of 2020. So it was definitely a different space during the time that I graduated. And I think when you’re in college, you have a lot of support and mentoring, and I think when you leave that environment, you’re kind of on your own. And I think not having a mentor, someone to guide me, made it difficult for me to get clear on how I wanted to use my degree in public health and the types of jobs that were out there. And I think that made it very difficult for me to find a job, even though public health was in such high demand because of the pandemic. I think those were a few of the barriers that I faced.
What was your first job after school?
I was a community health worker, and I really enjoyed the job. I think, for me, what was important was job promotion and advancing in my career. And I wasn’t sure if I would be getting that at the time.
In your article for us, you mentioned you had two jobs after college, and you were grateful for the opportunities, but you knew that they weren’t exactly the dream job that you wanted. So you invested time in goal setting. Can you tell us more about the steps you took to get clear about your goals and what happened next?
Yeah, so, for me, I got clear on my goals by doing a lot of research. I used a variety, such as Indeed. They have a page where you can see webinars. And I remember there was a webinar that talked about finding your why in your job or finding your purpose. And I think I was lacking that for a while, and though I appreciated my two other jobs that I previously had, there was something missing, and I think that was what this webinar that I saw helped me gain was clarity, determining my why and things.
And also, what did I want to get out of the job? What skills did I want to gain out of the job? And I think that’s something that I didn’t think about before. And I think, in this job that I currently have as a Community Outreach Coordinator, the skills that I have developed were skills that I wanted to develop.
In addition to the webinar that you watched that encouraged you to get clear about your why, were there other resources you turned to, or people that were helpful, as you were setting those new career goals for yourself?
Yeah, so my mentor during college, Dr. Katy Gable, I started meeting up with her and expressing that I was having a difficult time moving from a college environment to the professional world. So, she was very supportive in that she reviewed my resume. She gave me feedback on how to navigate the professional world, the etiquette. And I think that she is someone that I really look up to, and I think that really also helped me learn more about myself because she asked very good questions, and those questions made me reflect on my goals and where I wanted to be in life. So that was definitely helpful when I was doing my job search.
Would you mind sharing one or more of the questions that your mentor asked you that helped you get clarity about your own goals?
Yeah, so we focused on environment. She mentioned how your work environment is very important to your success and that having somebody that is a supporter or a mentor in your job will make your job more rewarding and gratifying. So, she helped me determine, you know, what work environment did I want to be in.
And then I think another question was, what type of leader are you? And I think those were questions that really helped me because I do demonstrate a lot of leadership in my current job. But I think my leadership style, I was able to pinpoint my leadership style because of my mentor.
What advice would you have for a listener who is working on resetting her own career goals? Is there something that especially worked well for you? Or a challenge that you struggled with that perhaps you could share advice about how you overcame it?
Yeah, so my advice to somebody that is resetting their career goals would be, I think you have to do a lot of internal work. I think it’s also important to get an outside perspective from someone and have someone tell you what your skills are, what they think about you professionally. Because I think sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves that we don’t see skills that we do have but that other people can see in us.
And I feel like, when you’re job searching, you really want to tailor your skills to the job description, to the job that you’re applying for, and I think it can be really hard when we don’t get outside perspective from people because people have different perspectives. So they give you a fresher look of the skills that you do have.
So you did this work, you worked with your mentor, you looked at resources like the webinar on the Indeed website about the importance of getting clear about your why. How did getting this clarity, once you reset your career goals, help you get the job you have today, Jasmin, at the Mid-Columbia Medical Center?
I think it helped me in the sense of, I think, gaining clarity gave me self-confidence. Gave me self-confidence that I had the skills necessary for my current job and that I would develop new ones. I think it also- the webinar helped me reflect a lot. What skills did I gain in my previous two jobs that I can transfer over to my current job? I think that’s the way it helped me. And I think, currently, in my job, I think it’s a good work environment too. And I think also that I have the support of my supervisor to continuously grow.
In your article for us, you talked about the importance of being consistent and patient during your job search, and you encouraged other job seekers to do the same. Could you talk more about that? Why patience and consistency are so important when you’re looking for work.
Yeah, I think patience is important because I think- I got rejections from jobs I applied to that I thought I would be a good fit, and that really does get to you in a way. So, I think just being patient with yourself and the process and knowing that there is a job out there that is for you and that you will do well and thrive in.
Consistency, in the sense that I think the labor market is continuously changing. There’s jobs posted. There’s numerous jobs posted every week. And being consistent in setting yourself reminders to look at different job boards like, Indeed, Mac’s List, or Partners in Diversity. It’s sometimes like a full-time job to look for jobs. So you have to be consistent, so you can see what new jobs are posted because they are constantly changing.
And then some job postings have a quick turnaround in regards to when your application is due. So the sooner you start, the better of a chance you have to polish up your resume, get feedback on your cover letter. And that’s why it’s important to stay consistent.
What didn’t work in your job search, Jasmin?
That’s a great question. I remember telling my friends that I was looking for a job, and they would send me different job postings, and I think that was helpful. But I noticed that sometimes I ended up not applying for them, and I felt bad telling my friends that I didn’t apply for a job that they sent my way. And I didn’t think it was helpful for me. I think it was quite stressful actually because I felt kind of compromised to apply for the jobs just because my friends took the time to send me this job that they thought might be a good fit.
And I think I knew what I wanted after I did my research, watched a few webinars, and got advice from my mentor. I think I knew what I wanted after that. So that’s kind of where I started doing my own job research and not relying on my friends sending me job postings.
Well, finally, Jasmin, what’s your number one job-hunting tip?
My number one job-hunting tip is to really align where you see yourself with a job. So if you want to gain a new skill, if you want a job promotion, look for a company that you know will give you a job promotion or that there’s potential to do so. Find yourself a good work environment, and in order to do that, sometimes you even have to maybe interview people that are working in that company because we do spend a lot of time working, so you want to find a good fit and to do that you have to sometimes reach out to people who work in the organization you want to work for and pick their brain a little bit.
Well, thank you for sharing your story, Jasmin. To learn more about Jasmin Huila’s job search, visit macslist.org/stories.
And check out the Mac’s List website for dozens of other success stories.
On the second Friday of every month, we add a new interview with a Mac’s List reader who has found a dream job. Go to macslist.org/stories.
In the meantime, thank you for listening to today’s bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job.
This show is produced by Mac’s List.
Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.
Our sound engineer is Matt Fiorillo. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.
This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.