Empowering Women to Prepare for Life's Obstacles.

How I Secured Employment in Less Than Two Months

By: Nicole Howard

I have been let go from 4 out of my last 5 jobs since I graduated from college. The positive side of this is I’ve learned how to be resilient through these obstacles. As a millennial I’ve come to accept that job security is becoming a thing of the past. Despite what President Trump continues to push also known as fake news the African-American unemployment rate is not rising.

Either way, these stats don’t mean much when you're part of the statistic. All you want is to get approved for benefits and figure out how to find a job as soon as possible. Unemployment can affect every aspect of your life such as your relationships and your mental health. According to a report by Gallup,

“About one in five Americans who have been unemployed for a year or more say they currently have or are being treated for depression…”

This most recent time was the most stressful but also the fastest turn around time to becoming employed again.

Here are a few things that helped me through it:

  • Yes, Slide in the DMs

Tell your ego it’s time to take several seats because you need to start reaching out ASAP. Many times your network, family, and friends get job opportunities in their inbox all the time. Create an email draft stating you lost your job, your seeking opportunities in __ field, and attached your UPDATED resume. If you use LinkedIn make sure you select the option that let’s employer’s know you are looking for a job. Trust me, we are living in the days of computer programs scanning resumes, and it is harder to even get an interview. So, if you know someone they may be able to help you at least get your resume in someone’s hand that has hiring power.

  • Find a Facebook Tribe

Don’t overlook the power of Facebook Groups. There may be local groups that publish jobs related to your field. For example, in Washington, DC there is the DC Digital Jobs. You can respond to opportunities there and sometimes you have to contact the person through messenger so make sure you have that enabled. (Only do this if your profile can be viewed by a potential employer.)

  • Stay in Your Lane

This depends on where you are in your career and your professional experiences. However, for me, I tried to apply for jobs that included responsibilities that were clearly reflected in my resume. In other words, applying for an admin job would be good if they had an immediate need but I could get looked over for someone who had more experience. It happens! So, I stayed in my lane communications and marketing. I can talk about this work without too much effort which made interviews easier as well.

  • Don’t Burn Bridges

We live in a world of “reviews”. You probably don’t purchase anything before you look at the reviews. What people say about you can be your winning ticket. If you want to stand out from other candidates make sure your references are on point. This means reaching out to ensure they know they will be contacted, keeping in touch by letting them know about the type of jobs you’ve applied to so they can speak to the responsibilities relevant to that position. Keep a list of three references ready to go.

Read 10 Tips for Your Mental Wellness

  • Tell Your Ego to Take a Seat

When you’re watching your bank account drop faster than the stock market you have no time for being prideful. In other words, seek out temp jobs, join a temp agency or two, and take the job! You may not want to stare at an excel spreadsheet for 8 hours but you also need income. Yes, you have a degree but you aren’t exempt from unemployment. So, make it work! Remember it’s only temporary.

  • Have Some Fun!

Yes, I said it. You may not have money to attend brunch and happy hours BUT if your circle is really true to you they will be there for you. Host, a small get together you will need some laughs and joy to get past the low feeling of rejections and uncertainty. Don’t go into isolation.

All of the above things helped me maintain my sanity and push through! At the end of the day, you have to put in the work. Need help getting through it? Download my free checklist here.