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! In this job search story, Jasmin Huila, a Community Outreach Coordinator at Mid-Columbia Medical Center, explains how she had to overcome her lack of career clarity to find her dream job.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
My career is being a public health professional. I love public health because it is community and systems-level focused on improving population health. Currently, I work at a rural hospital called Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC). Working for MCMC was a big goal of mine because it’s a healthcare system that has a huge presence in the community it serves so I knew it was a place I could make a positive impact. As a Community Outreach Coordinator, I have been immersed in coordinating COVID-19 vaccine clinics for migrant and seasonal farmworkers while also assisting with other community-focused programs.
How long did it take you to find this job?
I graduated from college in June 2020 and ever since, I have been on the lookout for the perfect job. It took me about a year and a half to find this job. Prior to my current job, I had two different jobs but something deep down within me knew there was something else out there waiting for me.
When I saw an opening for a Community Outreach Coordinator at MCMC, it seemed like a natural alignment towards my professional goal, which was to pave my way in the field of public health, especially at a time when the field was in high demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I found my current job while browsing the Indeed.com app. At the time, I was ironically working for an organization that helped individuals find jobs and that offered resume assistance, so the knowledge I learned proved helpful when I began my job search journey.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
As an individual who wants to do meaningful and purposeful work, it was difficult for me to find a role that aligned with what was important to me. In the span of one year, I already had two different jobs. At one point, it seemed like I was just moving from job to job. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I realized it was the lack of career guidance and clarity that made me feel that way. Luckily, there was a plethora of online resources that helped me narrow down what it was that I looked for in a job. Indeed.com has a resource called Job Cast and that is where I came across a video called “Choosing Your Ideal Career: Jumpstart Your Journey to Your Dream Job.” This video was a game-changer for me.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Advice that I would give job seekers would be two words: patience and consistency. The job search journey can be a rather long and daunting one; however, it’s important to remain patient with the process, especially when we are rejected for a position, because it is ultimately a redirection to something greater and better. It’s also important to stay consistent when it comes to searching or browsing for jobs because the labor market is constantly changing.
Lastly, another piece of advice is to connect with a mentor that you can trust and ask for career guidance. My college mentor reviewed my resume and offered great feedback on how to make my resume more engaging, so much so that it has been complimented by multiple people.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because I can work with Latinx migrant and seasonal farmworkers, a community dear and near to my heart (I grew up in a farm-working household). Additionally, I conduct community outreach so it’s fun to meet community members and collaborate with other community partners to serve our local community. I’ve also had a lot of opportunities to dive into different community programs and build relationships with external community partners.