That’s right, almost exactly one year after moving to the great state of Colorado, I was offered my first big-girl job. And the way it happened was kind of surprising.
During my internship with GoAbroad (which started in April), I hadn’t been on my A-game as far as the job hunt went. I was trying to keep my eye out for work but rarely saw anything worth applying to. In the back of my mind I was thinking that a full-time job might be offered to me once my internship was finished, but it was stupid of me to let that hope prevent me from seeking other options.
It’s like when you’re a kid and you ask Santa for a puppy. You’ve been so good that you just know a puppy will be waiting under your tree come Christmas morning, big red bow and everything. You’ve even started picking out names and contemplating which toys to buy. But when you run to the tree on that magical morning, you don’t see a puppy. Just the same assortment of boxes you see every year.
Here’s my point: When you’re an intern, be good. Be worthy of a puppy. Just don’t expect to see that puppy under your tree. Keep your mind open to other gifts, too.
I didn’t have any other job prospects, so when I visited my family in Wisconsin one week in August, I told everyone that something might come out of my internship. Then I received an email from a company that found my resume online and had an opening I was qualified to fill. This wasn’t one of those emails saying, “Hey, we found a pharmaceutical job for you!” and you say, “What? I majored in English.” No, this was an actual job that I thought I might be able to do, so I had the company send me more information.
The next day I was sent details about the position. I said I was interested and was asked to set up a time for a phone interview.
Let me break this time frame down for you. I was first sent an email about the job on a Wednesday. That Friday I had two phone interviews. The following Wednesday I was scheduled to have a sit-down interview.
Everything was happening so fast that I thought I was being scammed. I kept rereading the emails and verifying people on LinkedIn. I even Google searched the name of the company along with the words “scam” and “hoax.” Everything kept checking out, so I was hopeful I wouldn’t be kidnapped or become victim of identity theft when I went in for my interview.
I had never had a job prospect unfold the way this one did, so it made me paranoid. I was asked a handful of general questions during two phone interviews, and the language these interviewers used made it seem like I already had the job. Usually during interviews managers do their best to use neutral phrasing to keep candidates from getting their hopes up. The whole scenario was too good to be true, and it drove me crazy.
Luckily I wasn’t left in suspense for too long after the final interview; I was offered the position the following day. I put in my two weeks notice for my two part-time jobs and my internship, and I started working last week.
So what do I do? Basically, I choose articles for publications and format them into layout designs. Sprinkle in some copy editing and that’s my job. I’d like to take this moment to thank my university’s student newspaper for giving me the experience needed for this job. Thanks UW-La Crosse student newspaper; you’re the best.
You might be saying, “Lauren, now that all of your dreams are coming true and you have a full-time, salaried job, what will you do next?” Excellent question, friend. The truth is, I will pay off my student loans as fast as possible and continue to live the lifestyle of a broke, jobless person. Pretty boring.
I always hated when people won money on shows like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and they said they were going to pay off debt or start a fund for their child’s college education or do something else smart and practical. I would at least make something up to add some pizzazz to the show. Something like, “I’m going to buy the naming rights for 100 stars” or “I’m going to open my own cheese curd store.”
Well, there you have it kids. Tangents aside, that’s how I got my first job. After a year of searching, applying, waiting weeks for an interview, waiting weeks for an answer… I was contacted and offered a job all within one week. Maybe finding a job is like finding love: Once you stop looking, it finds you.
No, that is definitely not the case. Keep applying for jobs. I just got lucky.