I recently accepted a new job, and I'm very excited about it. I start in May. Without going into self-serving details, I'd like to share my timeline of job hunting with you. It might give you some insight, and maybe even a little hope. A few things to keep in mind:
- I contacted far fewer agencies than I normally would have - especially if I were a student looking for my first job. I was tapping into my A-list of contacts first.
- These agencies are all over, geographically. I wasn't looking in a single city.
- I think things moved unusually quickly for me. I was very lucky.
Here's a color-coded, week-by-week look at my most recent job search...
Serendipitously heard from two different friends at two different agencies telling me they might be hiring.
Asked for contacts and sent my website to AGENCY #1 and AGENCY #2.
Christmas vacation. Everything closed.
Heard from AGENCY #1, who thanked me for sending my work.
Followed up with an email to AGENCY #2, but heard nothing.
Contacted a headhunter who said he knew people were hiring.
Contacted a friend at AGENCY #3. Received the recruiter's contact info and sent my website to her.
Followed up with an email to AGENCY #1, who responded immediately saying they’ll get back to me within a week or so.
Gambled and sent an email to the ECD of AGENCY #2. No response.
Asked a friend at AGENCY #4, who said they were definitely hiring, needed someone exactly like me, and it was a “sure thing.” Sent email to a CD and recruiter of AGENCY #4.
Very excited about AGENCY #4, I contacted several friends who work there. All tell me they will talk to their ECD and recommend me. AGENCY #4 is sounding very good.
Heard from one of the recruiters at AGENCY #4, asking if I’d be available for freelance. Because of distance, I thank her, but tell her I’m looking for full-time work only.
Got a response from AGENCY #1, asking for a Skype interview. Had a very nice Skype session with the recruiter from AGENCY #1.
Gambled and sent an email to the ECD and his assistant at AGENCY #4. No response.
Received a call from AGENCY #1 who wanted to ask what my salary range is.
Received a LinkedIn invite from the ECD of AGENCY #3, and traded messages with him, but nothing substantial.
Received an invitation from AGENCY #1 to fly out for an interview.
Flew out for an interview at AGENCY #1.
Received offer from AGENCY #1.
Accepted offer from AGENCY #1.
Heard from a recruiter at AGENCY #2 saying they will keep my book on file, but that they are currently focused on hiring women.
Still haven’t heard anything AGENCY #3 or AGENCY #4.
A few things I'd like to point out:
- For a few weeks, I honestly thought Agency #4 was a sure thing. It sounded perfect, and I had at least four people pulling for me internally (always a huge advantage). But I simply never heard from those in power. Sometimes this just happens.
- Some might say, "Well, you only went for Agency #1, because they were the only ones showing interest." That's partially true. If someone is showing interest, it raises the chances of you being a good fit exponentially. But it was still my choice. Even after flying out, I could have always said, "No, we're not a good fit." (Or if I were stupid, "No, because even though it's a great fit, I want to see if I get an offer from another agency, just so I can have the illusion of choice.")
- I don't fault Agency #3 for wanting to hire women. It sounds silly, but it's probably for a particular account, or even at the request of a client.