When we’re looking for work, there’s a natural tendency to jump for the first available opportunity, even if it isn’t the right fit. While this habit makes sense (especially if you need a paycheck!) rushing into your next job isn’t always the best decision. Mac’s List reader, Molly Woon, discusses the value of taking your time and being “picky” in a job search. Here’s Molly’s job search story.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I am the communications director for the Democratic Party of Oregon
How long did it take you to find this job?
My last full time position was as Communications Director for Secretary of State, Jeanne Atkins. When she left office, my time there also came to an end. I did some odd jobs and a temporary stint for Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran before joining the DPO at the end of August. All told, it took about nine months for me to find this job.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I really loved my job at the Secretary of State’s office and wanted to make sure that my next position was also rewarding and meaningful.
For the first time in my career, I gave myself some time to be “picky” – financially, I didn’t have to take the first thing that came along. I thought a lot about what would make me happy and only applied for positions that fit those parameters.
I found my position at the DPO through an open recruitment at the Party. Ultimately, I think patience was the tool that paid off most for me. I’m glad I waited for something that I really wanted and could see myself doing for years.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
Rejection is hard. I went through several interview processes where I felt I was close to an offer but nothing panned out. I tried to evaluate my interview skills, my cover letter, and how I was using my professional network after each rejection.
At the same time, I tried to remind myself to embrace this time off work while I had it. This was the longest amount of time I’ve ever had between jobs (and I hope it is for a long time!) I made sure to remind myself that this time off was also an opportunity to do things that a 40+ hours a week schedule might not allow – I visited friends and family around the country, traveled overseas for a short while, and read A LOT of books.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Figure out who will serve as the best references for you – it may not be the same people every time. Look at who the decision-makers are for the position you want and figure out which people you know in common or what shared experiences you have.
Also, be your authentic self. I am so grateful I found a place where I can by myself and work on issues I care deeply about.
Why do you love your job?
I apologize for being overtly political, but it is my job now! I love waking up each morning and knowing that I’m helping elect Democrats across Oregon and resisting the Trump Agenda. There’s no place I’d rather be at this point in our nation’s history.