In the midst of a job search, many people feel the need to settle for “good enough.” In his most recent job hunt, Mario Parker-Milligan stayed focused on the opportunities he really wanted and refused to settle for anything less. His lesson to other job seekers: never undercut yourself for a particular job, job title, or salary.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I’ve worked in political organizing for the past five years, for non-partisan organizations that focus on building electoral power for marginalized and underrepresented communities, voter and civic engagement and recruiting candidates to run for office. Now I work for the Democratic Party of Oregon focusing on community outreach and inner party development.
How long did it take you to find this job?
From start to finish about 6 weeks.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I utilized a few sources, namely Mac’s List and my personal networks.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
Staying motivated for the job I wanted rather than taking something that wasn’t going to motivate me to get up out of bed every morning. I overcame this by sticking to my values, continuing to talk with people about what I wanted to do and putting my goals out there.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Know your value and know your worth. Do not settle or under-cut yourself for a particular job, job title or salary. Everything is up to negotiation and if you go through the grueling task of applying for something and are in the interview or application process, you owe it to yourself to ask for what you need.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because I get to work with a lot of different people who are all working towards a common goal. My coworkers are supportive and proactive and at times funny and always (well… usually) fun to be around. I get to work on issues that I care about deeply and work with volunteers who are often getting involved for the first time.