If you’ve been hunting for a job for several long weeks or months, desperation can take over. You’ll start trying to apply for any position that could work, instead of focusing on the opportunities that are right for you. Larissa Printzian faced this same challenge in her year long job search. Instead of putting all of your effort into job applications that don’t align with your interests, Larissa recommends letting passion drive your job search, and networking with your community to build solidarity. Read Larissa’s story to see how following her passion and volunteering with local organizations sped up her job search.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
Currently I work in quality assurance and compliance for Catholic Charities of Oregon.
How long did it take you to find this job?
One year and 16 days.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I began as a volunteer financial mentor in April of 2018 for the Save First Financial program. In June, I was hired as an interim Asset Specialist, while an individual was on family leave. The Q&A position opened up and the Save First Financial program manager of recommended me for the job.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
The most difficult part is writing the cover letters. I really put 110% into the cover letter. It can be discouraging to put that effort in and not get results.
Part of overcoming the challenge is exploring which jobs are a good fit and worth your efforts. Sometimes when you are unemployed, desperation can drive you. That can lead to wasting time on cover letters and applications that aren’t the best fit for you. Letting your passion drive you makes the job preparation easier.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Networking is really helpful. You establish links to the community, to recruiters, to hiring managers, as well as build solidarity with others looking for job.
Also, finding a volunteer or temporary job in an industry you are passionate about can lead to a permanent opportunity. I was fortunate enough to have a temporary job with Nonprofit Professionals from May through August, in addition to the interim position with Catholic Charities.
Why do you love your job?
I get to support the organization using my writing and data analysis skills. I work with all the departments and meet committed, passionate people who want to serve others and build a better community.