job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby justsomeoneinacorner » July 4th, 2015, 6:52 am

Update number 2

:dance: I GOT THE JOB! :dance:
Remember that first job I was interested in? good company, good pay, career potential, all that jazz ? Well I got it! I thought they had passed me over because I hadn't heard from them in a while, but in reality there was just a little administrative snag. On some advice from "the parachute book", and figuring I had little to lose, I decided to reach out to the person I sent my resume to after a couple weeks had gone by. It turned out that I wasn't rejected, but rather my resume had gotten lost in the shuffle while one manager was on vacation. Things were straightened out pretty quickly after that, I was invited in for an interview and they made an offer soon after. :D

So far things are going pretty well; I feel like I've found a good niche and am settling into my new routine. :mrgreen: It's amazing how much more energy I have now that I'm working again. Right now I'm primarily focused on keeping this momentum going and really settling in. That means doing whatever I can to stay healthy and positive: focusing on self care, getting plenty of rest, taking time to do things I enjoy, making good food choices, getting to know my positive coworkers, etc.

Anyways, thanks again oak for recommending that book it has helped a lot! Your advice on learning to code was really solid too. I've recently learned that there are even more opportunities available for those who can code and so I'm switching gears to focus on the languages that are used in my department.

Hpefully oak's advice with help you too, robotwithhumanhair - and no worries about "highjacking" my post, lol. You're more than welcome to comment on whatever you please. :)
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby oak » July 4th, 2015, 6:18 pm

Congratulations! Well done. You deserve it.

I am glad Parachute was helpful. For such a stupid title for a book, it is filled with life-changing gems.

Do just like you said: take care of yourself (eating, sleeping, exercise) and take it all in at your new job.

Good luck with your coding. Front end is great, back end is great, and database is super great. In fact, if you ever hear your new employers talk about SQL, your brain should go ding ding ding. (Pronounced "sequel".) If they start talking about merging tables, you want to be all over that.

In the meantime, enjoy how far you've come. Your first post in this thread was 2 months ago, and 2 months in a job search is a long time. You made it through. Congratulations.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby justsomeoneinacorner » October 10th, 2015, 3:36 am

a little update for the curious:

The new job is still going well. :D I've hit a few snags since I've been here but have managed to get over them. :dance: Overall I feel that I'm settling in nicely, am learning a lot and have a good understanding of how this position could fit into my long term career goals. Office politics is definitely not my forte but I'm trying not to worry and think I'll be able to avoid it for the most part; I have an entry level position so most of this is above my pay grade anyways. However if anyone has a book suggestion about navigating office politics, please let me know. :pray: I'd definitely like to stay out of the way of this freight train.

I haven't really made any friends at work, but people are definitely warming up to me. Instead of just a "good morning" here and there, people ask about my weekend, or how what I'm working on is going. I've also gotten closer with some of my non-work friends and have been more social to varying levels of success.

My primary concern right now is my exhaustion and continued weight gain. I have been so tired these last few days that I've laid down almost as soon as I'm home and I'm to the point now where most of my pants don't fit :oops: . I still have lots of skirts and dresses that are more forgiving, but it's definitely demoralizing. I've had a home exercise bike for some time now and have been using it more in the past few weeks. I tried to make myself do 30 minutes/day no matter what but I think that approach is overworking some of my leg muscles. :?: I plan to go gym shopping soon and will try and do my 30 minutes no matter what at a gym where I can have options. i.e. bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, ellipticals and/or stair steppers for cardio and all sorts of weights. Once I've built up some endurance, I'll bump it up to an hour.

I'm starting to wonder if a chunk of my exhaustion is tied to my current weight so I want to start calorie counting again and getting serious about what I eat. I had been worried about the cost of buying so many fresh fruits, vegis, fish, meat etc - but at this point I think it will be well worth the investment. I know that I'll eat more of those things if I buy the good stuff, so if I need to double my grocery budget to lose weight, feel better and make it through this winter without sinking into a deep depression so be it! Other things can wait.

So that's me! thanks for reading.
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby oak » October 10th, 2015, 10:54 am

Congratulations. Well done for getting the job, and sticking with it.

I am fascinated by your posts. Thanks for the update.

As far as advice, I can offer below what I have done, however imperfectly.

1. Office politics.

IME there are three ways to mitigate it:

a. Be genuinely kind and helpful to everyone. Be helpful, and find new ways to be useful.

(Three books that really helped me minimize drama in life: How to Win Friends and Influence People, AA big book (particularly the parts about admitting wrong), and Getting Past No.)

This will win over most people. Normal people.

b. But it won't win over everybody, because some adults don't want to play nice. Therefore, I highly suggest strong, clear, and regular communication with your supervisor. There are three people I am careful to be visible and positive around: the boss, the administrative assistant, and the janitor. These three people can solve 90% of our problems, and are the most valuable character witnesses should the jerks be jerks towards us. We should be nice to everybody, but these are three particularly important types of people.

c. If being useful and communicating is still not working, the other card to hold is walkaway power. Remember how I suggested HTML, Excel, and SQL? Put those on LinkedIn, and you have walkaway power. Put some repos on Github and wow.

Example: a month ago a person from another department was verbally abusive to me, very unprofessional. *That same day* an IT recruiter emailed me: he found my name on Github, searched for me on LinkedIn, and emailed. I have a few Rails repos on Github and a basic LinkedIn, nothing special. He took three steps to reach out to me; nobody was doing that three years ago when I was an unemployed nobody.

I was upset, deeply, by the verbal abuse that person gave me. But I wasn't perturbed or worried. Not anymore. I know HTML.

See what I am getting at? Jerks will be as abusive as they think they can get away with. Walkaway power is the only leverage some people are willing to listen to. Remember this: "When nobody's got your back, its time to move your back".

2. Weight gain

Contact HR and see if they offer formal programs, discounts, incentives, or a third party EAP.

My employer incentivizes nutrition, exercise, and stress management program participation. Nutrition and exercise are beyond my ability to comment on, but I am pretty sure you understand by now your nutrition strengths and weaknesses. IME, there are a few things in life where quality is cheaper in the long run, and food is one of them. I especially encourage you to eat a proper breakfast.

An important idea: a standing desk. This is increasingly recognized as incredibly important. They say sitting all day is as bad as smoking. Something to consider, if you boss is open to the idea.

So that is my two cents. Stay in close communication with your boss. Talk to some people about nutrition. Study HTML and Excel. Above all, be useful and cheerful. You'll do great.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby ladysquid » November 3rd, 2015, 12:01 pm

Woooo! Glad your job hunt has paid off! :mrgreen:

So, this may be another post hijacking but I felt that this would still be relevant and maybe in your success you could offer some advice? :oops: I just got off the phone for an interview and I feel like I've been punched in the face. I really want to cry.

I've been searching and searching for a new job. I went to a career fair and remarkably felt GOOD. I was smiling, I made a good impression on a company I'm genuinely interested in. So the manager, the person I'd be working under if I got the position, emailed me and asked to speak on the phone for a few minutes because the recruiter liked me so much. I've had 2 phone interviews in the past 1 went well enough to warrant a second interview (then I blew it) but the first one still haunts me with how much I babbled.

A note about me. I HATE SPEAKING ON THE PHONE. I will do any and everything to avoid it. I always feel like my voice is weird or shaky and I am unnerved by not being able to see the reaction of the person I'm speaking with.

So yeah...I initially felt OK about the interview and prepared some questions and notes. Where I work in the garment district there is zero quiet in cafes or otherwise, I ended up having to stand on a semi quiet street and pace around. As soon as I heard her voice on the other end I started to feel the anxiety creeping up through my knees. From question 1 "tell me about yourself" I already started to feel all my preparation go out the window. I absolutely blanked on another question. Said nothing. Then said...."I'm sorry." I FELT SO FUCKING DUMB. Like I could hear the nonsensical word vomit just splashing out and imagining her face on the other end like "who is this girl and why was she recommended?"

I don't know what happened. I think part of the issue was I was looking at the manager's Linkedin page, found out she's my age, went to Harvard, and used to work at a very well known department store. Immediately I felt dumb. Like how would I fit in with all these ivy league people with my state school degrees and flimsy resume? She had work history and internships going back to when she would have been 16.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle interview anxiety? Similar stories so I don't feel so useless? How have you handled the interview process?
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby oak » November 4th, 2015, 7:08 pm

Hey ladysquid.

Consider this anology I read in a book once:

Imagine a typical, heteronormative, dating show. Imagine there is one woman, and 25 men vying for her love.

The odds suck for the guys. They're great for the young lady.

Now imagine that one of the scorned men gets his own show, with 25 women vying for him.

Totally different situation. He can dictate terms.

See what I'm getting at?

Right now, thanks to 2008 and other things, the typical jobseeker is a bachelor in the first scenario. The trick is to be the bachelor in the second scenario.

How to do that?

Remember the words of Sun Tzu:

"When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear. Know that he cannot be superior in all things. Somewhere there is a gap in the armour, a weakness that can be attacked instead. The idea here is to avoid a head-on battle with a strong enemy, and instead strike at his weakness elsewhere."

In practical terms, in your case, it means to acquire the skills that are highly valued. In practice, nowadays the fastest way is code: HTML, PHP, and above all SQL. Oh the mighty power of SQL.

You mention LinkedIn, which is awesome. To the extent that you can morally (or even a little further), do this experiment: list HTML and SQL on your LinkedIn (even if you have the most basic understanding of them), and see how many recruiters contact you. You'll be astonished.

Code, and temp. If you haven't worked in more than six weeks, I'd get to temping right away.

You're going to be okay. Good luck out there.
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Re: job hunting anxiety - encouragement wanted

Postby ladysquid » November 5th, 2015, 6:40 am

Thank you for the response oak!

I am currently employed so it's really about trying to find a position that's a better fit for me at somewhere I want to be. I flat out asked for a raise because I noticed a job posting for a new hire at my company offering a higher salary than I make. My boss is currently jerking me around like "oh give me a week to talk to your supervisor blah blah blah we're very busy."I've only been here a little over a year and already five people have moved on to other jobs, to put it in perspective we're about a 14 person company.

I dunno, I guess part of it is being idealistic and young but I really hate this job. I'm happy to be out of hourly work in retail but at least I was stimulated creatively even though the pay was miserable. I've attempted online classes with coding and data analytics but I have no talent for it. I'm thinking I may have to settle with doing more creative work on a freelance basis on the side instead of as a career because I am barely making enough for rent as it is let alone if I was a full-time "writer" with sporadic to non-existant pay.

I'm still grappling with the fact that a job doesn't have to be your identity though this country and my city in particular doesn't agree with that fact. I just want to make enough money so I can start saving at least a little bit for travel and the future in general but I suppose I should be grateful for what I do have. *plays world's smallest violin* :violin:

Meh. Guess it's the same struggle we all have deciphering whether to trust our feelings or not, maybe it's just the depression and anxiety causing me to hate work, maybe work is making it worse, who knows.
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