The resume is written. The research into the players in my field is complete. I know who I want to work for. The time has come to introduce myself.
Yesterday, I got down to the business of contacting companies and asking for informational interviews.
Yes, there are tons of job listings out there for positions I’m qualified for, but I’ve yet to find any in my industry. So, I’m pretending I’m a confident grown-up person and I’m leveraging my contacts and trying to get introductions to people at the companies I want to work with.
Well, one company. So far, it’s only been one company. It’s the company that is the leading innovator in my field and working with them would be amazing.
Yesterday and the day before, I did all the Things One Does. And by this I mean, all the things recommended in various articles on themuse.com and by friends who have successfully navigated this mine field in the recent past.
I found someone at my target company on LinkedIn who would likely be my direct report were I hired, and with whom, by the sheer blessing of the Fates, I happen to have a mutual contact. Not just any mutual contact; the shared contact isn’t someone I randomly met at a conference once many years ago. He is actually someone I know. He’s the husband of a dear old friend. I don’t see him or connect with him often, but I was just texting with his wife (my friend) the day prior.
It felt awkward, I admit, to send him an email asking for an introduction to the person at the company. Asking for a favor, particular from someone you don’t speak to often, usually does. I did it anyway. My email was stiff and weirdly professional given my history with this dude (we’ve known each other since we were miscreant teenagers!), and I know it, but it got the relevant points across and it’s now been sent.
There has not been a reply yet, but regardless, it felt like a good way to get my feet wet. I work in rather a niche industry and there aren’t many players. I’ll have to do this a few more times, I’m sure. It’s good that the first is now out of the way. I’m sure it will only get easier from here.
If I’m successful, the next step will be asking for, and doing, informational interviews. This terrifies me but I’ll be armed to the teeth with research about how to successfully do them, and that will bolster me.
At some point, I might have to give up on attempts to stay in my field. Finding something in my area of interest might simply not be possible right now, or might take longer than I’m financially able to support. I only have enough in savings to get by without income for 3-4 months. My time is not limitless.
For now, though, I’m not going to spend time and energy exploring side paths when I could be working towards reaching a desired destination. I’m on the yellow brick road and I can see the Emerald City ahead in the distance. There are dirt footpaths that wind away from the paved road at various intervals. Some immediate dead-end into brush and some stretch on into darkness, but none are paved or well-lit and none move towards a clear destination.
Yesterday marked only two weeks since the day I was laid off. I’m only beginning down this road. I’m not ready to step off and pursue a different path just yet.
It’s early days yet. It’s the beginning of the process. It’s not time to panic, to flail, to try to get hired doing anything at all because I’m becoming desperate.
My achievement yesterday was confidence. Will I continue down this path and refuse to change course if it seems things are not working out? Of course not. This is a concern folks around me have, and I share it.
Now is the time to go after what I want, and that’s what I am doing. For now.