In the six months Laura Glazer spent job-hunting, she attended networking events, connected with a career coach, and grew her network. Ultimately, Laura credits the success of her job search to her work with a local career coach who helped her to narrow her focus, highlight her talents and tell her career story in a compelling way that resulted in Laura landing an interview with a mutual acquaintance. Read on for Laura’s full job search journey to discover her top job search tools and find out why she recommends attending networking sessions with a buddy.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I’m the Creative Services Manager for Icon 3D, where we design and fabricate signage in our downtown Portland studio and production facility.
How long did it take you to find this job?
It took me six months to find this job.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
The story of finding this job is a highlight of my search! I was scheduled to interview for a part-time retail position and at the last minute, the company called and told me their budget wouldn’t allow for them to hire that position for another couple of months.
The following month, I ran into the hiring manager at a PDX Women in Tech event and she wanted to introduce me to her friend who was hiring. Although we didn’t connect that night, her friend called me a month later and asked if I’d meet him for an interview. Two interviews later, I was hired! I love that one opportunity that didn’t work out, led to one that DID work out.
My best decision was working with a career coach, Mary Blalock. With her help and expert listening skills, I saw myself and my skills more clearly.
Another of my favorite resources was utilizing free sessions in co-working spaces. It’s how I grew my network of people whose presence helped me stay positive during my job search.
Mac’s List was also a constant comfort and source of momentum, especially the podcasts, weekly job listings, and special events. Even now that I have a job I love, I still read the emails and articles and anytime I meet someone looking for a job, I recommend they utilize the Mac’s List resources.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
The biggest challenge I encountered was choosing just one of my skill sets and sharing that with potential employers. As much as I love helping other people tell their stories through design and photography, I was having trouble telling my own story.
This is where working with Mary the career coach helped me the most. She helped me stay on track with my skills and talents that resonated with my professional and personal goals. From there I was able to target my applications to jobs that would be meaningful fits for me and the employer.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Attend networking events with a buddy! For me, networking events are exciting because talking with people invigorates me. Even so, some of my most comfortable and natural-feeling networking experiences happen when I’m paired up with a pal.
We move around the room together, introducing ourselves to people. At the right moment in a conversation, either of us shares information about the other person. Sometimes I mention a detail about their career story, opportunities they’re currently seeking, or tell a story about a successful project they completed. This type of volleying takes the pressure off both of us having to feel like we’re talking about ourselves too much, which I think is the hardest part of networking: saying a short, sweet thing that explains myself and skills without sounding (or feeling!) self-absorbed.
Why do you love your job?
I’ve always been obsessed with print design but now I get to go extra dimensional and bring my 2D designs into three dimensions. The thrill of leaning into each day built on my innate curiosity about how things work and how they can benefit Icon 3D’s clients and our community is immensely satisfying.
My co-workers treat each other with genuine compassion. Everyday we meet each other where we are and go from there. Also, I learn so much from each person’s unique approach to problem solving.
All of this contributes to an overall feeling of personal and professional growth.