I don’t think there is a single person out there that actually prefers being on the job hunt. But then again, there comes a time when everyone knows it’s best to move on.
Now the smart thing to do in this instance is not to up and quit your job, but to covertly start looking for a new opportunity ASAP.
Because I’m silly, I did not do this. I left my job, that I really enjoyed (great co-workers), and embarked onto new endeavours.
I must admit at first I just used my time to take a really deep breath and decompress. But it has been some time now and I’ve recently sprung into overdrive, trying to find that new position that will bring home the bacon.
Given my education and work experience there are a handful of roles that I would be a good fit for. I gravitate towards creative positions, and have in the past really enjoyed representing brands on social media, blogs, or websites.
When I was done decompressing, I was less than enthused to find out that my career had lost all momentum. Applying to jobs was getting me nowhere (but I had no clue as of yet), and my side projects yielded only moderate success.
One of the first things I tried to do to make money while looking for work, was drop shipping.
A Team Of One
For about a month I did research on what exactly drop shipping is. For those of you that do not know, it is when another business warehouses your product (s) and you sell it online splitting the revenue with them. It is a very great way to cheaply start up a business with very low overhead.
Because I’ve always been a fan of graphic t-shirts and I have some skills with the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and Illustrator) I decided (stupidly) that is what I would sell.
So I signed up with Shopify, and downloaded an application for a business called Printful.
Now, I should mention that Shopify is great because they allow a free trial period and if things don’t work out there is no long term commitment, so the risk is generally very low.
Not only that, but the platform is not very expensive when you do run out of your free trial period. So as long as you make a few sales a month, you should cover start-up costs.
Printful on the other hand, is also great because they offer printing services and warehousing for people looking to do exactly what I was doing. They offer printing on shirts, hats, sweaters, and phone cases etc. But for my purposes I was only interested in shirts.
Okay, so my online store existed and I had a business that would print and warehouse my shirts, I just needed to design them.
This is where mistakes were made.
I made the designs using Photoshop and Illustrator, which I am adept enough at doing. It’s just that I never figured into the equation if someone would ever actually wear what I made.
So I plowed away making designs.
When I thought I had enough to make a good product
I ordered one of my shirts to test the product and it was good quality so I was happy with my work so far.
The unfortunately thing is that you need to spend some money at this point on marketing, whether that is on google ads, promoted Tweets, or promoting your Facebook business page.
I decided this was not the path to money I originally thought it was. I didn’t want to spend all my savings on recurring marketing fees that I had no idea would work or not.
Not to mention that I found almost an infinite number of equally good and competitive graphic t-shirt businesses doing exactly what I was doing.
So I closed my online store.
But this is what I learned.
- I had the skills to setup my own online store
- learning the various platforms and apps was not difficult
- If I had the money for google ads it could have worked out
- next time, team up or hire a graphic designer
- pick a niche where there isn’t so much competition
It might sound like I gave up easy, but this whole process took place over months and I might try drop shipping again in the future with what I know now in mind.
One thing I learned about myself pretty early on in my last job is that I am not a salesperson. This just means, I’m not comfortable forcing myself into someone else’s equation and I prefer to be on the creative end of things.
But I want to make money so I must force it!
When my store was closed a friend (who is awesome) asked if I would do some freelancing and that he knew someone who was looking for writers to sell in various ways.
It sounded great and it was…at first.
It wasn’t long before I had my first client. We sat down and quickly struck a deal about what the work would entail and for how much money.
Because I signed some documents that do not allow me to elaborate further on what happened in this relationship, I’ll just say that anyone looking to embark on a freelancing career should only ever accept work on behalf of a institution, association, or business.
Essentially, I was not going to hold my breath and hope that the agreed upon payment would show up.
Freelancing left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. I was back at square one, trying to get a frickin job.
On The Hunt
Instead of side stepping the issue (money!) and trying to work for myself, I was going to re-enter the job market and see where I landed.
It would seem that just applying to jobs online almost gets you nowhere. It’s a numbers game and the rejection is high. Just now as I’m writing this, I received an email telling me I’m no good for a role (they are wrong, but whatever).
So I did somewhat of an experiment. I would only apply to jobs that I met all the requirements and were posted in the last week. Then I would take those numbers and re-evaluate.
I use Linkedin, Indeed, and Ziprecruiter, but I’m only going to talk about what happened on Indeed since that is my
I like Indeed because I can tell when someone has viewed my application (other platforms offer this as well), and I can sort my saved jobs with next steps (interviews) if I must. Additionally, when someone on Indeed views your application there seems to be a higher correlation with them actually contacting you.
So in two weeks, I applied to almost 30 jobs on just Indeed.
These were jobs where I was qualified, met the application requirements, and the posting was fresh. I actually wanted each job I applied for and was enthusiastically waiting for return contact.
Of the 30 jobs, 5 reviewed my application, and 1 reached out to schedule an interview.
Is It Me You’re Looking For?
Now this is where I get mad…but am remaining chill.
The company that reached out to me is awesome. They do great work in the non-profit sector and needed someone exactly like me to come and work for them. The pay was good, and I met all the job requirements.
So when their HR director reached out to me I was pumped.
We conversed over email and setup a preliminary interview over the phone. I was to be called at a certain time.
I woke up, did a few things, got a confirmatin email that the call was indeed going to happen, then…nothing.
I was waiting with my phone in hand as the time came and went and nothing happened.
So I sent an email asking if everything was okay and did they need to reschedule. More nothing.
I had been ghosted!
It was painful, humiliating, and certainly aggravating. I need a job!
I still wonder to myself, why, why did I not receive that call!?
The truth is I will never know.
Mix It Up A Bit
So I still apply to any fresh and good job I see on Linkedin, Indeed, or Ziprecruiter, but if things are going to change positively I need to have two kettles on the stove so to speak.
In the summer I started going to job fairs and dropping my resume off in person.
I’ll be honest and say that these fairs are generally not good experiences. Some of the booths are manned by less than reputable businesses and others are plainly not taking resumes but are there to offer information.
Desperation is a stinky cologne
Another thing I started doing is getting out there in my existing network and letting people know that I’m ready and willing to do work.
I have messaged businesses through their website, reached out through Linkedin to HR directors, and asked people to keep a look out on my behalf (some people are awesome).
Recently, I’ve decided that I’m going to a recruiter and putting the whole process into overdrive.
Additionally, I’m taking courses to boost my resume credentials so it doesn’t look like I’ve just been sitting on my hands.
Keep your sanity
Constantly looking for a job is draining, both emotionally, and physically. It just sucks to have to do.
So all the while that I’m looking, I keep on doing the things I like that are not work.
One thing that I just started doing and really enjoy, is screenwriting.
I started my first script in September and was done by October.
So over the course of the next year I’m going to challenge myself and write one per month.
That sounds like a lot but it really is not that hard if you put aside some time every day to work on it.
A Final Note
I’ve had jobs before, so I can do it again!
Things people have told me about getting hired
- have a thick skin
- use your network
- be on multiple platforms
- if someone has the job you want ask them about it
- GO TO A RECRUITER
- apply to anything and everything
- an unpaid internship is a good way to get your foot in the door