I know that I have been m.i.a but I am here, alive and well. Life has been good but busy hence the silence but I am back for an update.
Wrap Up of the Job Search
I just wrapped up my previous position and will be enjoying some “funemployment” before my new position. My job search has been grueling and extensive but the worst is over. I applied to over 120 positions in my field between June and November. Overall, it was a very exhausting and frustrating process but it improved towards the end. As I was ready to accept one offer another great opportunity came up. I generally do not believe in silver linings but I must say that being approached for interviews by certain organizations did boost my confidence and motivated me to keep applying. However, it was disheartening when positions were cancelled, which happened a few times.
While I dedicated close to 6 months to finding a good position, I still often feel like that wasn’t enough time. There were so many fellowships,consultancies, paid internships abroad and volunteer opportunities for recent graduates but the application and turnaround processes were anywhere from 6-12 months, which is quite a wait. I will not be hearing back from some places until March but I am satisfied with this position (even though I have not officially started) and it is very unlikely that I would quit so soon to pursue other opportunities. I do not regret holding out until the right opportunity came along.
I was torn between a few organizations for a while but eventually had to decide on an organization that would be beneficial long-term but I am very happy to have secured a position at my top organization (Sorry, I am not ready to divulge 🙂 ).
I’ve had to eliminate certain negative factors but I am currently in a better, more progressive and practical state (and that’s all I have to say on that :).
I was hoping to spend Christmas in Guyana but everything that could possibly go wrong with that trip did so I had to scrap that idea but I do intend to do some more traveling in 2016 (work permitting).
I just celebrated a birthday last month which was a big deal for me. This birthday was more reflective me as I tried to focus on being proud of rather than being so hard on myself. Even though I am still very young and haven’t gotten a lot of things out of the way, I have very ambitious career and financial goals for next year and I think that I am where I need to be and will keep progressing.
Now that I have a bit of down time to catch a breather I will try to maintain the blog and keep you all somewhat up to date with my evolving life.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the most patient person at times and the job search has certainly tested my patience. Whether it is employees taking weeks and months to respond or receiving no response at all, it can be very irritating. With that said it does get better with time.
Many say the first year out of school is usually the roughest because many organizations do not want to risk giving s recent graduate with little or no experience a chance. Career services suggest that it takes anywhere from 6-12 months to secure a decent full-time position. They even go so far as to say start job hunting a year before graduation.
However, many recent graduates are often forced to accept unfulfilling positions because of desperation from the pressure to repay mounting student loans. Unfortunately, this is a reality for way too many talented young professionals and I can definitely relate. I’ve received a few offers and wondered to myself “they cannot be serious with this salary” which has caused me to have to turn down a few offers. Some may say I’m mad for doing so but I do put a lot of thinking into the positions that I accept. I currently have a great internship in my field and it is simply not the smartest decision for me to end the contract of a great opportunity in my field to pursue opportunities that are not in my field or I will not be happy with.
Having to consider so many factors, job hunting is very time consuming and can feel like a job itself. From my experience it takes about 3 months to really start receiving feedback. October has been my best month so far with me having 4 interviews and receiving offers from all organizations so I am very excited to see how the rest of the month plays out as I am waiting to hear back from a few of my dream organizations.
I am not ready to divulge the company or positions in detail but will definitely open up more about my job search more as it continues. It is not easy to discuss this but hopefully I can relate to people going through the same phase and help them to realize that with persistence and patience you will survive.
Interestingly, over the past few weeks I’ve come across quite a few blog posts and tags about deciphering the wrong and negative people in your life. Even though I have not commented to this, it is very crucial as I myself have had to rid myself of certain situations that I felt were just self-deprecating and not progressive.
As always, I would love to hear about everyone’s experience.
I am still not fully caught up on my Dubai blogs but due to popular requests I will take a detour and blog about my job search thus far. As most of you many know by now I am a recent grad seeking opportunities in the development and humanitarian field. I am based in New York but willing to do field work in East Africa and certain parts of West Africa. Having been to Tanzania it is my top choice ,however I am open to other countries.
I began my job search about mid-June and have sent out just over 100 applications so far. I’ve been surprised with the number of postings that I’ve come across but in reality I know many of them have been filled before they were even posted. August was the roughest month mainly because most people were on vacation or a lot of positions were already filled. The beginning of September was also rough but I started to receive feedback towards the end of the month.
The past two weeks have been the most positive weeks. I made it to the second round and even received a from a great campaign .however, due to logistics and location I was unable to accept the offer. Nonetheless, I was elated to receive the offer and to be making progress.
I have had a few people ask why do I not take advantage of my connections or work at places where I have interned or the fact that I am from a third world country. However, there are myths surrounding these questions that need to be debunked. Even though I have had a number of prestigious internships and have gained very meaningful experience, I have found that I have no desire to work at some of these places. Another hurdle is that many of these places do not have entry-level vacancies or positions. They usually only have basic administrative intern work or mid-career positions that require 5-7 years experience. Furthermore, as a native of Guyana I am always asked why do I not try to repatriate. I am currently unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is not much development work to be done in Guyana as there are not a lot of NGOs working down there. Secondly, most of the available work is political and while I did receive my first degree in political science that is simply not what I want to do at this point of my life. My family on the other hand is very politically involved and connected to the new government, most of the positions are voluntarily or better suited for someone who has many years of experience under their belt. Lastly, the salaries are based on Guyanese standards and are $500-1,000 per month which as an Expat would not be enough. When considering positions I have to take into account the cost of living along with my educational expenses. So unfortunately, I am currently unable to consider volunteer or jobs that pay based on those local standards. This is a bit unfortunate as I would love to explore some of these opportunities but later in life once I am established I will definitely look into them.
Even though the job search can be very time consuming and agitating at times, I am trying to remain in good spirits. October and November will be very interesting since I have a few opportunities lined up and have been receiving better feedback. I am currently employed by an organization focusing on relief work ,however, this is temporary and part-time. My initial contract expired in August but I was approached to extend it until December or whenever I accept an offer. While it is a good position at a great organization with great people I do believe it will be time for me to move on and transition into a new position once my contract expires in December.
I am grateful that I do have employment while I job search as it allows me some flexibility it finding the right position. There is no desperation to accept a terrible offer just because it is being offered. But I am progressively becoming more open and to an array of opportunities and not only focusing on my dream organizations. My goal is to find the fight offer by December and begin in January but it is possible that this may be sooner.
Good luck to all my fellow bloggers and followers who are currently on the prowl for a career job. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment or reach out.