Tales from the Job Hunt: Part 1

(Note this was first published over a year ago) Let me first start off by saying that this is isn’t my first rodeo….aint my first time around the ‘ol job hunting block. I think its safe to assume that the vast majority of professionals like myself, in their mid-thirties have had at least 3–5 jobs by now. If not, you are either doing something really wrong or you struck career-gold. As I sit here writing this in the basement of a Coffee Bean and Co, a block from my apartment and look around at all the laptops with the silver Apple logo, the only regret I have right now is not converting my SIRIUS XM stock 6 years ago into Apple! Anyway, I digress…

So to make a long story long, I recently got laid off from a job and agency that I truly loved. This crushed me. It was harder than any break up i’ve ever had in my life, true story. I got up every morning excited to go to work, to jump into my projects with vigor, a desire to carpe diem as they say. I had supporting and nurturing bosses who enlightened me with their marketing, social/tech knowledge daily and interesting and meaningful projects (most of the time). My co-workers were like family, true friends. It was a great gig. And then one day, because of the errors of a select few, the relationship came to an end for a big group of us. The loss of a big piece of business meant that cuts had to be made. It’s the ugly reality of the Ad Industry. And on that dreary day in early December, my time had come to face the never-before seen Grim HR Reaper. She was swift but effective. Empathetic but steadfast in her task to rip the heart out of my chest. And as she sat there with my still beating heart in her hand, she reached over with the other to hand me a tissue. However no tears were about to be shed on this day.

If there is one lesson that I have learned in my professional life, is that I know what I am good at, and fortunately, job hunting is one of them. I am the Steve Irwin of Linked In…without the sting ray barb through my chest. So, I said “no need for tissues, just give me the canned “we really wanted to keep you” speech and let me get back to what I am good at.” I am also very fortunate as every step I have taken in my career has be UP, with greater job-satisfaction, growth and compensation. To quote my mom, “when one door closes another opens”, couldn’t be more true…however sometimes that door has issues: hard to open, squeaky, locked, too small or a bunch of people pushing it closed in your face.

My first tale/lesson is titled: Not all HR people are the same. So don’t assume they are your best friend just because you had a great chat with them on the phone.

First, I must say that when interviewing, remember you are interviewing a potential employer as much as they are interviewing you. Some people compare the process to dating, in this case the HR person is your mate’s best friend. Their job is to protect and ensure that only the right people get through to the prize. whether it be the job or the guy/gal. A good HR rep will be very transparent, telling you the real deal, the facts. And if they deem you fit, they will give you the info you need to be successful in the next round. On the flip side, they also know what their company (friend) really wants and be looking out for their best interests. Some just do it a bit differently.

In the best case, you will hear back in a reasonable amount of time on the results of an interview or next steps…other times you may not hear anything, or worse case get an automated email stating ” After carefully reviewing your background and experience, we have decided not to proceed with your application at this time” with zero explanation. The least they can do is tell you why. Was it my hair? My breath? Did I creep you out? In all seriousness…a good HR person will tell you why you didn’t make it to the next round. They will give you feedback so you can build upon it and improve for the next interview. You put the time in to meet with them, the least they can do is give you the same time and respect back. I have met some amazing HR folk along the way, and you can tell the good ones immediately!

I hope you found this as enjoyable to read as I found to write as the buzz from my Chi Latte wears off. In my next post ill take a deep dive into the anxiety and stress of being unemployed and the toll the hunt takes on you. Until then, keep your head up, embrace cliche’s and treat unemployment as a job you love — that will ensure success.

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Originally published at adamjposner.wordpress.com on January 8, 2014.

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