How to get a job in this crazy time

If you have been reading some of the posts on this site then there is a general approach for finding the job that you really want. I, like many people, thought that by now we would be emerging from the effects of SARS-CoV-2 and entering into a new normal that would combine some of the positive aspects of the last seven months with elements of the way we lived before.

What seems to be happening is that a number of countries around the world, including Spain, are still fighting the virus and will most likely be in a semi-emergency situation for some time.

For those people who are currently looking for work in this crazy time, I thought I would write up the example of one woman who has found her way.

This woman finished her Masters degree in the Fall of 1919 and although she had not been succesful in finding a full time position immediately after graduation, she did manage to get some project work in an international think tank that was doing work she thought was meaningful.

The project work came about as a result of her asking one of her favorite professors (not me) for advice and he suggested she call another person he knew well. That person gave her a brief interview and put her on a project which paid her by the hour for data analysis.

As that project unfolded, her manager recommended her to one of her colleagues as a reliable researcher and thus one project let to another which led to another, etc. In the end she kept going on several different projects for almost a year making just enough money to get by.

At one point during that year she took advantage of an opportunity to participate in a workshop at her school and also wrote a blog post about the work the think tank was doing of which she played a part.

The other thing she did on a constant basis was spend the time to reach out to her colleagues, ask good questions, and help out wherever possible.

After about 11 months of this, one of these people told her that the communications manager was in need of significant help and that since she had a communications background, there could, perhaps be a fit.

Over the next month she combined her new assignments with the project she was working on and really impressed the Manager with her attitude, energy and technical competence. After a few weeks of this, he requested her availability on a full time basis and after a brief interview with the General Manager, she was brought on with a contract, competitive salary and benefits.

For me, the most striking part of the story is that she has still not met any of her colleagues face to face and has done everything remotely. What the General Manager told her however, was that everyone she spoke to had a very positive impression of the woman, her attitude and her work.

The process took a full year but what is most important is that the woman felt that even the most analytical work was contributing to something important and kept a positive view of her work and her future.

During this year she also wrote to other organizations doing similar work and had some interviews on line. She nevertheless gave priority to the project work that was paying her bills and made a point of nurturing the on line relationships with the team.

The morale of the story in my view is that even in these crazy times, or perhaps especially because of them, it is possible to find your dream job if you know what you really want to do and are willing to put in the time and energy to make it happen.

Published by Mike R

I am a professor at IESE Business School and lecture on strategy, sustainability and geo-politics.

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