Everyone’s job search story is different, but each individual story can inspire countless careers. We share the stories of job seekers’ successes to inspire you in your own career, get ideas for new approaches, and to help us all better understand the local job market!
Meet Lisa Kislingbury Anderson. Lisa focused her job search energy on a specific set of organizations and used networking to build the right connections. Here’s her story.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I am the Volunteer Coordinator for World Pulse, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that increases the global voice and leadership of women worldwide using the power of digital communication. We believe that when women are heard and connected, they transform the world for the better. [Editor’s note: Lisa is no longer with World Pulse. Learn about her newest career adventure on her LinkedIn profile.]
How long did it take you to find this job?
Joining the staff of World Pulse was a gradual process that began with me volunteering as an editorial mentor for the organization in 2013. At that time, I was working as a newspaper journalist and just beginning the search for my next career step. Volunteering for World Pulse felt like such a great fit and gave me hope that I could find work that would align with my interests and values.
An opportunity for a three-month editorial contract opened up in fall 2014, and I seized the chance to join the World Pulse team–even temporarily. I took a risk by quitting my day job and taking on the part-time contract. After my contract ended, I traveled in early 2015 to visit my sister in Cape Town, South Africa; I had no job to return to outside of very part-time marketing work.
Upon my return to Portland, I spent two months enjoying a more leisurely pace of life and strategically applying to positions that felt like a strong fit. One of those positions was the one I currently hold. By the end of April, I had accepted the job with World Pulse and was elated to start the next chapter of my professional life.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I narrowed in on the Portland-based organizations I most loved, threw myself out into the community as a volunteer, and actively networked with people who shared my passion for international women’s empowerment. I had applied to another position with World Pulse previously that I did not get, but I continued to pursue volunteer work and opportunities with the organization.
In addition to Mac’s List, some of my favorite resources were CNRG, Idealist.org, Job Jenny, The Muse, the UO Career Center Portland, and 50 Ways to Get a Job. Jessica Williams of Jessica J Consulting was one of my greatest mentors throughout the job search process.
What helped me the most was viewing the job searching and networking as an opportunity to build connections and help others instead of a competition.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? And the easiest part?
The most difficult part of my job search was being patient and persistent, especially while I was working full-time in a demanding position. I pulled lots of late-nighters and sometimes felt like I was on the verge of burnout while I juggled everything. Once I took the plunge and quit the newspaper, the planner in me anxiously awaited landing steady employment again.
The easiest part of my job search was having an excuse to get out into the community and build my network. I am an extrovert who loves meeting up with people for coffee and attending events centered on issues dear to my heart. I started to build a coffee and happy hour portion into my budget!
Why do you love your job?
World Pulse has such a lovely, uplifting ambiance and invests in its employees’ well being. In my role, I love getting to connect people with volunteer work they find meaningful. My academic background was in journalism, Spanish and women’s studies, so to be able to weave these interests together at an organization focused on amplifying the voices of women internationally is incredibly rewarding.