Job search and retrenchment and what hind sight has got to do with this?
A few years back I was running a new start-up and we hit a wall when searching for our 2nd round of funding. Unfortunately, we closed our doors and I had to retrench myself (it would be the first time, but not the last). While I rallied around to ensure my full team could find a new job, I knew I would not have an issue. I was qualified and experienced in IT so finding a job was going to be easy – or so I thought.
Six months later with still no job, even after thousands of job applications (I counted one week I submitted 367 job applications and did not receive 1 reply). Added to the economic strain with lots of frustration, tears, and a whole bunch of ‘why me’ I got an amazing job and got to work one of the best entrepreneurs of South Africa! I thought I would share with you why I did not get any of those jobs I applied for.
- Applying for everything
When you are retrenched and desperate for a job you apply for EVERYTHING! This was my first mistake, I ‘worked’ every day from 8am to 1pm in searching for jobs and applying – it became a job to find a job! But applying for everything ensured I added to my frustration because those jobs would not suit my skills, I wasted my time and the company/recruiter’s time each time I sent one of ‘those’ out.
2. Not suiting the exact requirements
I made it to a few interviews and didn’t get those for a range of reasons I was either too specialised, in another too much of a generalist, over paid or another did not earn enough for the role, over experienced or under experienced for another. I learnt here that no matter who you are – sometimes you just do not fit the mold for that job (it is not you or them it just is). But does add to the frustration!
3. Not in the right place
In my mind I did not want to ‘put myself’ out there on job portals for a range of strangers to see my details. But I soon found that adding my CV to job portals was a good thing, as many companies only used one or two and no other methods like advertising. What if my ideal company was using one of these and I was not on? In this search I came across a new job portal and met one of the UI designers who asked me to upload my CV and give me some feedback on what I thought of the user interface. This new and small job portal was where I got my new job a few weeks later, teaching me to use different platforms and methods.
4. Ego and confidence go together
I had days when I could not get out of bed, the ego gets hit, you try ‘everything’ – but you need to get up, else you will never find a new job. I contacted numerous recruitment agencies and finally one offered me a temporary role (not something I was looking for). But it was a job, one I needed and in hindsight, I got to work on a new play park that was being launched in Spain, it was phenomenal experience and something I would never have signed up for if I was not desperate. But this small start gave me some confidence which I took to my next interview …
5. Boredom does not help in interviews
After months of frustration I contacted a small business and asked if I could work with them for free, and only earn commission (I was getting super bored). They said yes and I learned very quickly how to sell, market, work extra hard to make ends meet (previously I had only worked on a set salary in IT – never in sales) with a pure commission basis role. I learnt some great skills and more than anything I learnt that commission paying jobs are all about how much you put behind it! I learned and earned more in those few months than I had learned and earned before.
My story is a full circle one, that small little job portal I registered on, I later found out I was one of their first placements. I landed up working for the original founder of that platform, and 6 years later I bought that business with my current business partner. I am now a successful business owner because of those six months! In hindsight those 6 months was just what I needed to learn some hard life lessons, some new sales skills and entrepreneurship at its best!
Sasha Knott, is the current MD of Job Crystal (www.jobcrystal.co.za), finalist of the Business Women of the Year 2019, Chairman of the Kay Mason Foundation, Speaker & Female Entrepreneur – to follow more articles go to https://www.linkedin.com/company/jobcrystal/
If you need to find out what you should be earning go to https://jobcrystal.co.za/salary-survey/
#womenentrepreneur #businesswomen #womenspeaker #SouthAfricaBusinessWoman