Stepping Out and Looking Up

I'm stepping out to take a chance
And if I fly or if I fall it's in Your hands
You're the Maker of my dreams
And You'll make a way for me
So I'm stepping out
I'm stepping out to take a chance
(by Group 1 Crew)

Yesterday I spent 3 hours on this page trying to share my frustration about job hunting. I wanted to document my struggles in the last 42 days of being unemployed as well as my recent interview experiences. I managed to write about how I felt but my words were empty so I stopped and walked away. This isn't working, I thought. I needed a break from my own thoughts so I scrolled through Instagram and checked what others were doing. I assumed some of them were having a bad day, too, just like me. Hey Misery, you want company? 

Late in March I started getting phone calls from recruiters. My planner has a list of all the interviews I've had and all the companies I submitted my resume to. I knew that making a list would help me track my application process. I don't think list-making will ever lose its value to me. To make my storytelling easier, I came up with a "list" of stories about each recruiter I got in contact with.

Recruiter # 1
- I met him in their office after he interviewed me on the phone. The building was undergoing construction so I had to ask the workers in the lobby where the main door was. They were speaking Spanish which I clearly didn't understand. Thankfully someone in the group knew English and told me to enter through the other office. Anyway, my recruiter apologized for the mess and proceeded with my interview. He asked about my qualifications and what I want for my next job. He tried to submit my resume to an accounting firm that needed admin support but when I checked their company reviews on Glassdoor, people had more negative things to say than positive ones. I declined. He tried to look for other openings but the second company he offered to me was far from where I live so he got a double decline from me. Sorry. 

Recruiter # 2
- She called me from Illinois but the job opening was in Sunnyvale, California. They're looking for a part time office assistant who will man the reception desk and do other ad hoc tasks. I declined to be interviewed for this role because she lost me at the word "reception". I am not conceited. I have nothing against receptionists (I used to be a front desk associate. I respect these people and the job they do!) but I no longer see myself in an entry level position. 

Recruiter # 3
- He called me a few days after I responded to the job advertisement he posted on LinkedIn. He said the client he's working for is Yahoo! and they're looking for an executive assistant to help a couple of directors. It was a contract work for 6 months with possible extension. I asked him which department this executive assistant would support and he said, "Oh sure I can definitely help you with that, let me ask the team in Yahoo and I will get back to you." That conversation happened on March 30, 2017, fast forward to almost the end of April and I still haven't heard from him. 

Recruiter # 4
- Actually this person was not a recruiter - he was the Hiring Manager! He's with a start up company and they're looking for an Office Manager to help them organize the new office they recently moved into. He said it was a part time job and the pay rate was within my range. He asked me hypothetical questions on the spot!

*How will you manage if I tell you that we need to paint the conference room?
*I need to order purple ribbons for marketing purposes. What will you do to accomplish the task? 

I came up with answers as fast as I could but my gut was telling me this was not the job I wanted. So nope, I didn't get a call back from him even though he said he was going to update me on my application status. 

Recruiter # 5
- He was referred to me by the previous agency who gave me my most recent assignment. One day he emailed me with the information for a job opening at Google. Their mobile team was looking for a Project Coordinator/Associate to support the Technical Lead and her team. Of course I wanted to apply for that position, it's Google! I was really looking forward to be interviewed but things went south because that job req was cancelled and the recruiter didn't update me even if I followed up many times. He was not very proactive and responsive. I have a friend who works at Google and he even tried to reach out to this recruiter on my behalf. Guess what? The freakin' recruiter didn't respond to him, not even with a sigh!

Recruiter # 6
- This was the second time a recruiter found me on LinkedIn (my profile is private, how cool is it that they get to access my professional info?) He works for Apple and told me that the Wireless Team is looking for an admin assistant to support managers and directors. This was exciting news for me! Oh my goodness...really?! Apple noticed my resume?! They rejected my applications a few years ago :-)
Anyway, the recruiter was very direct with his questions about my employment history and all the stuff I did before as an executive assistant. He described the team and walked me through the job description. I believed I could do the job but I started losing interest when he mentioned working off hours to support the staff in UK. The pay rate was lower than what I expected and I didn't want to go through the rigorous interview process that they intended for this role. In short, I declined to be further interviewed by the managers (because he wanted me to meet them the week after our initial phone interview). Yes, I'm the girl who said no to Apple.

Recruiter # 7
- She called me one afternoon while I was busy writing a cover letter for another job application. She said her company was looking for an admin who will be able to stand 10 hours and do an assembler's work. Wait, WHAT????????? I politely excused myself from the call and told her that she was talking to the wrong person. Then she asked, "What job are you looking for then?" and I replied, "I am an executive assistant supporting senior managers. I don't know where you got my resume from but I am not the person you should be interviewing because I don't even know what assemblers do. Sorry, thank you for trying to reach out." End of convo.

Recruiter # 8
- She has been trying to place me at Adobe since February but the department kept cancelling the job order so this opportunity didn't get me anywhere. It's okay, though. The recruiter was nice and I could tell she really wanted to give me a chance.

Recruiter # 9 
- I reconnected with my very first agency in the Bay Area and told the manager of my current status. She immediately asked for my updated resume and said she will help me with my hunt. I haven't received any job leads from them yet. Most of their clients are looking for applicants with accounting background. Uhmm, I don't have what they're looking for and that's fine. 

Recruiter # 10 
- I got in touch with this recruiter 2 years ago when I desperately tried to get out of a dead-end job. She gave me an honest piece of advise back then and have assisted me in looking for a job. I got in touch with her again in February but we never really got to work on a solid job lead because of the office areas she's concentrating on. We have the case of the "north and south", I'm here and she's over there. Guess we never could agree. She asked me what's the farthest city I can commute to and my salary requirements. I've yet to hear what she's got for me.

Recruiter # 11
- I reached out to my previous account manager who gave my resume to their company's recruiter. I had a phone interview with the recruiter that same day but it didn't work out because the pay rate was below my requirement. Later on this recruiter shared that she is a Filipino too and that she went to an elite school back in the Philippines. Okay, good for her. She was probably trying to connect with me as her "kababayan" but I didn't appreciate how she tried to "lecture" me on the difference between Sharepoint and WebEx. Girl, you're too much. 

Recruiter # 12
- She called me just a few minutes after I submitted my resume online. She said she's always on the lookout for new applicants and they're moving fast in the hiring process. Her client is a well-known tech company that's looking for a senior admin to support the CFO and his team. She sent my application to the HR team right away and the next day I was scheduled for an onsite interview! This one went pretty good. 

At the moment I am waiting for further updates on my last interview. If you're reading this and you're unemployed too, please know that I totally understand you. The stories I shared may not be similar to yours but trust me - I know how difficult it is to "snag a job". I got so close to giving up but I didn't - although I wanted to! Being unemployed at age 35 (almost 36!) is unnerving, messy and downright challenging. I'm an immigrant who's trying to build a career in California, competing with thousands of jobseekers in the Silicon Valley, shooting for the moon one resume or interview at a time. 

When you know you've done your best but it didn't meet people's expectations, where do you go? When your back is against the wall and there's another wall right in front of you, what do you do? 

Look up. Lift up your eyes. I may be pressed now but I look up for rescue. 

I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 
Psalm 121:1-2

I will hang on until help arrives. 

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