Saturday, August 24, 2013

my job search journey


I remember the day we learned Daniel would be attending dental school in Memphis. He came over to my townhouse between classes, grabbed my computer and began to Google Memphis magazines and publications. We were not engaged at the time, so this was quite the gesture – if Memphis was going to be “our” future, then I would certainly need a job there.

Nine months have passed since that initial search. To say the process has been “discouraging” would be an understatement at best. As of today, the application count stands at 40 – that’s 40 cover letters, 40 employment history completions, 40 “I’m a Caucasian, non-veteran female with no disabilities.” Most of the time I hear nothing, sometimes I hear “no,” and once I was even scammed {who goes after unemployed people anyway?}.

Probably the worst part is that few of the jobs even appealed to me. I have the experience to work night shift as a page designer for a newspaper, but do I want to? I could debit and credit my way through a teller position at the bank, but what would that do for my future career? I could be a direct salesman in Sam’s Clubs across Shelby County to earn a “marketing” title on my resume, but were the hours worth it?

Then it happened. 


On the way home from our July 4th weekend, my mother emailed me a link to the application for Communications Specialist for the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. {In my defense, I had been applying for jobs all morning, and this one just happened to be posted later in the day.} It was like receiving a big bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream after being put in a room with no air conditioning and forced to make cold calls all day while heavy metal played in the background– this was something I actually wanted!

I applied for the position first thing the next morning, then between interviews I went to drop off my resume in person. “You know this is an online application process, right?” the receptionist asked me. “Yes, I know,” I replied feeling kind of foolish, “I just wanted to put a name to a face.”

A week later I called the HR Department for a status on my application. By this point I was feeling really pushy, but all the “job searching” articles reassured me that the feeling is not only normal, but necessary if you want the job. She, too, asked me if I realized this was an online application process. “Yes ma’am, I just wanted to make sure you received it and ask where you are in the application process.” She then proceeded to tell me that it would be at least another month before they closed the application and started contacting people for interviews.

So two weeks later I wrote up a cover letter explaining why I wanted the job and why I felt like I was the best fit. I printed it off with yet another copy of my resume and snail mailed it to the Director of Human Resources. Exactly one week later I got a call asking for an interview.

My first interview was on a Thursday and I talked with the Director of HR and the position’s immediate supervisor. It lasted for two hours. I wrote thank you notes to each and sent them out on the same day. The following Monday, I received a call asking for another interview on Thursday with the supervisor and her supervisor. That one lasted an hour and a half. I sweated through my jacket. I wrote thank you notes again and sent them out that same day.

One week and one day later I am sitting here writing out this blog post. During my workout this morning, I got a call from the Chamber asking me to send a list of references. Apparently, they were glowing – an hour later I was called and offered the job.

The Communications Specialist position is everything I could want from a post graduation job. I will be writing press releases, working on the quarterly magazine, making media connections and even handling web and social media content. It combines all of my interests – journalism, design and marketing.


It may look like I worked hard to get this job, but I assure you that all the glory goes to God. He orchestrated so many circumstances to get me to that phone call today. If it weren’t for His strength, I would have never had the courage to drop off my resume in person or make that phone call. If it weren’t for His faithfulness, I might have gotten impatient and taken a less attractive job offer. If it weren’t for His promises, I might have lost hope a long time ago.

This process has taught me a lot about patience and prayer and dependence on God. It has taught me how to trust God not only with my future, but also with my dreams. After all, He is the one who gave them to me in the first place. It has taught me not to put God in a box and to believe that He can do greater things than I could ever ask or think. It has taught me the power of prayer.

So a big, gigantic THANK YOU to everyone who has been praying for this process over the past few months. Please take a moment to praise God for His faithfulness in answering prayers.

This will probably be the last time I post anything about my job. This is a personal blog, and I would like to keep my professional life just that, professional. But I wanted to share with you my job search journey and encourage anyone who is in the midst of it. If you have any questions or would like any help, please email me {jennyfish2013 at gmail.com}. I will gladly design resumes, edit cover letters or simply pray for you. The biggest blessing God gave me during this time was a circle of friends and family to pray for me, encourage me and do their best to help me – I would love to be that for you.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

-Ephesians 3:20-21

4 comments:

  1. Love this!! It's so cool when the Lord proves himself. I love to see how you can share this through your writing. :) So proud.

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    1. Thank you, Sam! Like I said, I had a great circle of friends and family to support me. Thanks for your support. :) Love you!

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  2. Oh my word, this is SO exciting! Congratulations! Your method and actions should definitely be shared with undergrad students because what you did was incredible - it showed initiative, care, your personality, and a desire to get the job. I hope it is going well!

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    1. Thanks! I definitely put more work into this job than others that I applied for. And so far I absolutely love it. I spent most of the day yesterday constructing social media posts. Putting what you taught me to good use!

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