When you’re on the verge of giving up, it almost always turns.
So if you’re on the verge of quitting, stick it out – just a little bit longer.
The Story – Hold on to JOY
There are these moments, moments which give you immense joy. The problem is we don’t hold on to those. What we hold on to are – our problems. One such moment for me was the day I came back from my defense presentation. For the uninitiated, during a master’s degree, a significant part of the program is the master thesis – and a significant part of this thesis is when you defend it in front of an audience. So for me, this day was a win; it was a win for the entire 3-semester-based risk I took when I moved to Switzerland.
My thesis was not a smooth sail. It had a life of its own. After a low grade on the proposal and a long stint of demotivation… I was determined to make this work! Otherwise, it would have been a slap on my credibility as an engineer and as a writer! So, with a lot of support and help from my near and dear ones, I turned it around – with a great grade and an offer to pursue it further with a Ph.D. This was the happiest I have been during my master’s program!
Unfortunately, the person who most understood how big this was for me was out of town. We could not clink those wine glasses as planned. A day later…and this win was already history. That is how short-lived finales to successes are.
I still remember the day my husband landed home and I asked him, now what? He was stumped but not stunned. Wasn’t my mood supposed to be better? I’d reached a huge milestone – my master’s degree! I was clearly upset, even though I had a great CV and now a Swiss degree – this job struggle suddenly became more real. A few days in, I decided that I wasn’t going to be bothered, and I should ideally be looking forward to my fast approaching 3-week long holiday – I was going to visit my country after a whole year this time.
And with that thought, the next day is when I get phone calls from 2 great firms for 2 very exciting roles. The irony is a 4-letter word, this time I am talking about “Love”. I did not even remember when I had applied! How can you remember after sending about a 100 applications on LinkedIn (like seriously!)?
I messed up the first telephonic conversation; this was a mix-up – a cocktail of a mismatched profile and some amount of overconfidence.
This failure was another lesson. A reminder that the human brain forgets, forgets rather easily.
For the next one, I was not going to leave a single stone unturned. Hence, started the hard work – once again! This time around: the job description was rather clear, the role was apt and the future seemed lucrative.
Was I ever going to get a break (a leisure break I mean)? Well, the 3-week holiday was still a motivation.
And so, after 5 rather stressful but successful interview rounds and a lot of travel inside Switzerland, this one worked out!
The irony clearly has had a positive spin over the last couple of weeks!
Don’t Settle for Less than You Deserve
While I’m sure there’ll be more struggles to come, what I wanted to say was this.
Everyone struggles, E V E R Y O N E.
Everyone also suggested all sorts of things – some who wanted me to see the light and some who wanted to be the tied rock to my balloon-ish career.
Again for people who have been in the Swiss job market – they know how hard it is to find work here. Any work for that matter, be it a pizza delivery boy, a barista, a lawyer or a vice president of an MNC.
Internships, Assistantships, mompreneur-ship (btw I hate the word mompreneur, I chose to remain an entrepreneur), I knew the ship I wanted to ride so I never settled.
I landed a role I deserved, and why did this happen? It is because I never underestimated my worth; It’s because I worked hard (really hard), and it’s because I kept trying.
Conventional wisdom? Well yea, there are no shortcuts to success. And weight loss 😉
So If You Feel Like You’re About To Give Up, Read This.
#1: Conventional techniques work, they take time but they work.
By this I mean, the normal applying over the web and receiving automated rejection emails.
#2: LinkedIn is definitely worth it. Not sure if the “premium account” is.
And LinkedIn needs tutorials, your profile page can do half the magic.
- Add as much as detail as possible to your profile, but there is a thin line here – your CV and your LinkedIn profile are not the same things.
- Have a profile picture even if you don’t have a cover picture – it is okay.
- The “Jobs” tab on LinkedIn is excellent, utilize it.
- Grow your network and engage with people.
- Do not always have expectations with respect to this engagement.
#3: Prepping up is vital – however small or big the test is going to be.
Interviews, meetings, and applications – you do not get many chances in a market like this, so once you do, do not take it for granted!
#4: Recruiters are strange people. Period.
For me, this route was only filled with confusion and not enough professionalism.
#5: Culture DOES eat strategy for breakfast.
Tread carefully, I am trying to avoid controversy here 🙂
#6: Work permits are important, even more than knowing German!
It’s the basics that should be in place.
#7: Your network is NOT your net worth, your content is!
While relationship building and networking are important -after all, we all live in a society, do remember that the corporate rat race is after all a rat race, and one rat doesn’t shy away from climbing on the other one. Hence, for me personally, my network didn’t work for me, but my content and credibility did (and has and will).
One chapter ends, another one begins.
It might last long or short, but this is that moment, the moment which needs to be savoured, but I am sure this too shall be forgotten 😉
For more deets on what I do, check my LinkedIn profile, and feel free to send me a connection request out there. If you’re struggling with finding a job, message me and I promise to pass on some motivation and wisdom. 🙂
Heartfelt thanks for reading this! Share with us some of the difficulties you faced but managed to rise above them in the comment section below!