Everyone’s job search story is different, but each individual story can inspire and empower others who are on their own unique path. We love to hear how our readers have found rewarding careers in Portland, and we want to share these stories with you to inspire you in your job search and to help us all better understand the local job market!
Meet Jacob Arnold, a long-time communications specialist. After passively looking for work for several years, he launched a focused, active search for his dream career. Here’s Jacob’s story.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I had been a newspaper copy editor for more than 20 years, with my most recent position as “production leader” for The Oregonian. I decided to leave journalism, and I recently got my first job in communications, writing for the Oregon School Boards Association.
How long did it take you to find this job?
I had been looking occasionally for years, but it took me about three months of serious job searching.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I found this job posted on Mac’s List, my favorite method for seeking jobs. I regularly check the new listings for jobs that might interest me and then apply. I also used other job sites and LinkedIn, but I didn’t find them as user-friendly as Mac’s List. They tended to inundate me with a lot of useless emails. I also relied heavily on my connections from my previous job.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
Because I was changing careers, the hardest part for me was figuring out exactly what it was I was looking for. So I applied to a variety of jobs. Even if I didn’t get the job, the interview process was helpful to explore whether I wanted to work in that arena. A Mac’s List networking event gave me a chance to explore working for foundations or nonprofits, something I discovered sparked my interest. I also spoke to people I knew who had changed careers to get an idea of what sorts of jobs my skills would help me get.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Make connections any way you can. Look up all your old colleagues and take every chance to meet new people in the field you might like to work in. In my experience, most new jobs start with some sort of connection or introduction.
Why do you love your job?
I love this new job because it gives me a chance to grow while doing good for people. It also treats me with respect and as a valued member of the team.