This month, The Buzz on HR is doing a series about the things I’ve learned on the other side of the HR equation, as an employee experiencing the thing that happen to thousands of employees every day. Week 1 looked at Benefits. Week 2 looked at Sexual Harassment. Week 3 looked at the FMLA. And the final week is the Job Search.
I think there is nothing more difficult than being an HR person looking for a job. Certainly, there are some advantages. We know the entire process from beginning to end — what jumps out at a recruiter or hiring manager in a resume (and the fact that these can be 2 very different things), the right things to say during the interview, the wrong things to say during the interview, how to negotiate salary and so on.
But that is where the advantage ends. Because we also know what goes on behind the scenes with the person or people looking at our resume, conducting our interview and extending the job offer. HR people are often super critical of our performance and over analytical of the process at the same time. When there is a lull or delay in the process, we can’t ever be sure if it is something we’ve done wrong or an issue with the hiring company’s process — and, if it is the latter, we have to decide how to feel about that and if we can work for a company who doesn’t have their act totally together.
This is what I faced earlier this year when I dusted off the old resume to see what opportunities were out there for me. If you know me and/or have read other articles in my blog, you know I work with some challenging people — like Mustang Sally, Teflon Tyler, Surly Sue and the great pop-culture debaters. Sometimes, I wonder if the grass is greener elsewhere. When I get that feeling, I update the resume and start searching.
It took awhile to get a response. Months, even. It was a little disheartening. I let a recruiter friend look at my resume and give me some pointers to improve it. Then I just told myself to stay consistent in my search, be patient with the process and have faith that the right opportunity would come at the right time.
And it did! I got a call back from a great company for a great HR opening. I began thinking about all the great things I could do in this new position …
Unfortunately, I got to the interview and I wasn’t impressed. The job wasn’t really what I thought, the environment wasn’t what I imagined and I didn’t click with the people that worked there. It was a complete and total let down for me … but once I got over the disappointment, I was appreciative for what I learned from the experience.
Ultimately, looking for a job when you already have a job is a “gut check.” It is like standing on the edge of a cliff and deciding if you really want to jump or not. In the end, I learned I wasn’t ready to jump. So I recommitted myself to the place I am now with a new appreciation and some great ideas on ways to improve myself and my environment.