The job-hunting project

Like so many before me, this spring I woke up to the fact that I needed to find a job. A proper adult job, I could add. My prolonged time at the university was slowly coming to an end, whether I wanted or not, and I needed to move over to the adult world. The safety blanket, offered by my studies, was soon to be taken away from me. “Is it cold out there?” I often wondered when I was thinking about my future career life.

During my life I have worked plenty in different places. I have had numerous summer jobs, internships, volunteer assignments and part-time posts. That said, a full-time and long-lasting job has not been on my career path so far. On the other hand, the world of today is so full of impulses, sounds, changes and temporality, that a nine-to-five job sometimes feels completely Utopian.

It is very clear that the will to find a job is very different from actually getting one. It is no secret that finding employment in the world of today is a challenging task. Many people who are smarter, more educated and in all aspects more talented than me are unemployed at this moment. What would make me any different from them? In fact I don’t think that I deserve a job any more than other individuals, but I can however come up with a few things in my situation that might perhaps facilitate my employment.

1. I am ready to move almost anywhere in the pursuit of an interesting job.
2. I am flexible regarding the content of my work.
3. I have vast language skills.
4. I have often been said to have a pleasant personality in interviews.

Maaria Tirri
In order to make her job-search more appealing, Maaria Tirri decided to make her job hunt into a clearly defined project.Luckily Maaria Tirri has also had some time to enjoy the Finnish summer during her job-hunting project.

My experience of life has luckily also brought with it some enhanced self-knowledge. I have noticed that when I turn something laborious, difficult and stressful into a project (with a proper name, brand and timetable) in my mind, it immediately feels more enjoyable. It works like magic. So I decided to make good use of this practice also in my job hunt: I made my job search into a project. One afternoon in April I created a “Maaria’s job-hunting project 2016” on my computer, started adding jobs I had applied for into an Excel file, wrote down goals related to the job search and asked my acquaintances for tips. I set a deadline for my project, that is to say my employment, for October 2016.

During my job-hunting project I have made good use of my university’s career counseling services, asked my friends to keep their eyes open for interesting jobs and acquired a routine of hunting for openings. In addition to that, I have also been in contact with numerous possible employers and sent in open applications. I have also joined several recruitment sites, groups and networks. However, asking for feedback from employers regarding my CV, cover letter and interview performance has proven to be the most useful of all methods. With offered feedback, I have gained knowledge of my strengths as an applicant and useful suggestions in relation to improving my application and interview methods.

During this spring and summer I have applied for a total of 46 job openings. This amount could be more, but it could also be significantly less. Have I gotten a job? Well, no. I have however received plenty of good feedback, a few interview requests and many apologies for the difficult situation in the job market. Actually, not getting the job has become the norm. And that is quite alright. There are far worse things than to be a part of the large so-called “mortal” community that has to struggle to find employment. If nothing else, it enhances one’s humanity, empathy, compassion and sense of togetherness. And that is already something.

I imagine that the right job for me will manifest itself at some point – until then I am keeping myself busy with my Excel file. And the harsh conditions of the outside-world? It is something one gets accustomed to, or so I have heard. Soon I’ll find out for myself.

Maaria Tirri is a content provider for Europass.

Text and photo: Maaria Tirri

Maaria TirriFinding employment is often a challenging task. In order to make her job-search more appealing, Maaria Tirri decided to make her job hunt into a clearly defined project.


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