Finding Persistence and Embracing the Journey – Travis Puckett’s Job Search Story

If Travis Puckett had to sum up his job search journey in one word, it would be: persistence. Keeping your chin up and not getting discouraged is key to any job search. Read more of Travis’s advice for job seekers who are looking to find encouragement after a long job search.

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I work in analytics. It’s my job to distill our database into usable information for managers and directors. Data is power!

The company I work for is called Vacasa. Vacasa is a vacation rental management company. We take a deeply analytical approach to bringing more profit to homeowners looking to maximize their rental investment.

How long did it take you to find this job?

I began looking for a new job while still holding my previous employment. After 2 months of juggling both, I decided to terminate employment and go into the job search full time.

I took an internship that started in June. When the internship concluded I was offered a full time job with the company. It took 6 months to land the internship, 8 months for the full time gig.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

EVERY RESOURCE! I took a very active approach to the job search, and can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed the process (rare, I know!).

For me, it all started with LinkedIn. As a platform, it has everything you need: job postings, connections to people in every industry, and insight on the job market. I would look around the site and find professionals whose jobs looked cool, and I’d invite them to coffee. (Yep, complete strangers.)

Secondly, I called or emailed anyone I knew who was career-minded to meet up. Chatting with people I knew was less formal- mostly, it just got me out of the house. If I could give any advice, I would stress the importance of staying social and not letting the search get you down.

Lastly, I attended some networking events. Mac’s List put on a terrific event at Simple called “How to Land a Tech Job in Portland.” There was a panel of experts and one panelist stuck out for me, Grace Andrews. She said that she had never worked in tech, but sought out intern positions in the industry as a way to get a foot in the door. Now she’s a Solution Engineer after starting entry level at New Relic. It’s a hard step to budget for, but it’s a terrific way to transition into an entirely new type of job.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

The most difficult part is the inner voice. You spend so much time and energy building your legend on a resume, and when you don’t hear back…it can chip at your morale. At the end of the day, your morale is the most important trait you can bring to a new company.

I’ve alluded to it before, but reaching out to my village was how I overcame this challenge. Connecting with former colleagues and friends sparked a joy in me that allowed me to let go of the outcome and appreciate the journey.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Start persistent and stay persistent. After you’ve finished writing your resume, refine it. After you refine that resume, build another one in a different format (skills based vs chronological). Network with people in your desired industry. Network with people in unrelated industries. Work an odd job or two (there’s a ton of temp work out there). Connect with people even if you don’t think they’re going to influence your search.

Persistence will open doors to a hidden job market.

Why do you love your job?

I love my job for so many reasons. Mostly, because I have access to a ton of talented people with varying skill sets. Plus, my team is amazing. I also think the job is pretty neat because it’s all about numbers. Any time I am surrounded by volumes of  loosely related numbers, I get excited to start connecting them. That’s basically what I do for a living.