Americans: What is your current job, and how did you get it?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 31
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’m a commercial construction project manager. I started out with a degree in interior design and worked in architecture. I applied for tons of jobs, interviewed at a few and a friend referred me to a firm she knew was hiring. I got the job.

The second was with my current company and I’d been applying for lots of jobs everywhere. This company had been a client when I was in architecture. I started by processing work orders, and ended managing the commercial furniture portfolio for 80 something corporate offices and call centers, nationally. When that account ended, I transitioned within the same company to my current role based on a recommendation to the hiring manager from a colleague.

I have found it much harder to find a job when looking at a new field or right out of college

Post # 32
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m a managing editor for a small magazine. My first job out of college was for an assistant editor at another publication. I didn’t have any connections, but I had a nice writing portfolio and I think that helped me stand out. My boss also told me later the reason she hired me was because I answered a question honestly during our phone interview. The question was, “When was the last time you missed a deadline?” and I told her and explained why I was late. This impressed her because all the other candidates claimed they never missed a deadline, which she knew was B.S.

Same situation for my second/current job — didn’t have any connections, just had the right amount of experience. 

For my first job it was about six months of job searching, I applied for several jobs (but not hundreds), and only interviewed with the company that hired me. It took me about two months the second time around and I interviewed at two places.

Post # 33
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I’m a teacher and I had a job before I had my kids. Then I happened to see a job opening at a school I taught at and I interviewed and got my job. I wasn’t looking to go back since my youngest is still in diapers, but the opportunity is wonderful and I love my school. 

I usually look for positions on school district websites. 

Post # 34
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’m a computer programmer, more specifically I am doing web development. For jobs in my field, I deal with recruiters. Often I’ll post my resume on a site like Monster or Indeed, and people call me. It’s quite convenient. 

Post # 35
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I am an artist for the largest casino company in  Las Vegas. I have worked many jos in theatre (hense the name) prior to branching into this. Those jobs I was hired with an interview, sometimes I knew them already but most of the time not. I would show my portfolio of past design work and have a background in mangement. I was set for this job because I worked at a nightclub beforehand and did design work for events for them. I created a portfolio to suit my current position. They told me I would need to do a test to show my skill. I was lucky to predict what the test would be and spent the day before my interview practicing at home. It was to create a 6″ box out of foamboard. Simple, but shows precision and attention to detail. I even nicked myself at the interview with a razor putting the freaking cap back on. I am still teased about it.I have had to do sewing tests for other jobs. After being hired they showed me all the boxes that other candidates did and asked me to find mine. It was easy and most of the rest were laughable. I am finishing my Masters in Hotel Mangement. After I have been with the company for 6 months I can start moving up the ladder. Luck is when opprotunity meets preparation. I am lucky because I prepared myself for it. 

Post # 36
8440 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m a receptionist for an HVAC company.  I’m a full time Stay-At-Home Mom to two 2 year olds, so I had to find a job that would let me work from home/remotely, but wouldn’t tie me down to a desk.  I happened to get this job by chance.  The HVAC company that I work for actually services the systems I have in my home, and the previous receptionist retired (not a lot of turn around lol).  I was just lucky that the owner was working on my AC and mentioned it in passing.  One week later, I had the job.

Post # 37
3831 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

catapple :  I’m 2.5 years out of law school and quite a few of my classmates struggled to find jobs, were (or still are) underemployed, or decided to open their own practice and hope for the best.  I’d say 70% of my friends are in jobs they like now (including me!), but the others are really miserable.

Post # 38
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: Backyard

After finishing grad school, took a job in my field that was very stressful and didn’t pay nearly enough to live on. One day, I had enough and decided to look for something else. I got on Craig’s List and found a job in my field that had been posted that day. I sent in my resume, had an interview the next day, and was offered the job later that day! Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. I normally have just as a hard of a time (if not harder) finding a job as anyone else. The previous job gave me experience and a credential that uniquely qualified me for the job I do now. I didn’t get to start with the wonderful job I have now. I had to do a pretty rotten job first to get there.

Post # 39
5113 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

ShoeGal89 :  “When was the last time you missed a deadline?” Kind of a bullshit question if you’ve actually never missed a deadline. I got that at an interview once, told the truth, that I’d never missed a deadline (I don’t really work with a ton of hard deadlines TBH), then I look like I’m trying to bullshit the interviewer and she’s looking at me like “Yeah, right”. I guess next time I’ll have to lie and make something up. Good on you for being honest, but that question really pissed me off lol. 

Post # 40
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’m another (soon-to-be) lawyer. I’m in my last year of law school. I’m working part-time for a firm this year, have a clerkship with a federal judge lined up for next year after I graduate, and have a job at a big law firm lined up after that. It’s crazy how much career planning happens in advance in law school.

Firms come to my school to interview between 1L and 2L. I didn’t have a hard time getting a job (and neither did my friends). I worked my butt off to get into one of the top law schools, and have been working my butt off at law school to get top grades. I know the outlook isn’t the same at other schools.

For my clerkship, I did have help through connections. It looks good for a law school to send as many grads to federal clerkships as possible, and my school does its best to connect applicants with judges. One of my professors put a call in for me, which helped my application get noticed. It probably also helped that the judge and I are both alums of the same small liberal arts college, and we had a lot to talk about in my interview. I still had to interview, and I was chosen over a few of my classmates who also interviewed.

Post # 41
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m a high school science teacher.  I have been with the same school district, teaching at the same high school since I graduated.  I student taught at this school.  At the end of my student teaching year I was approached by the head science teacher and he told me they were adding faculty because of the increase in students and he wanted me to teach there.  I still had to do a formal interview but it was very relaxed and I think much shorter than it would be for an applicant the faculty didn’t know.  I was offered the job that afternoon.

Post # 42
1812 posts
Buzzing bee

I work for the government as a commercial loan and grant underwriter. I went to college and got a degree which kind of helped, but mostly it has been hard work, long hours, and a lot of dedication to working my way up the chain.

Post # 43
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

catapple :  I went to a top school so all of my classmates found something, even if it wasn’t their first choice job. But yes, the legal market’s been rough for the past several years. Knowing that, before I even applied to law school, I decided I wouldn’t even go if I didn’t get into a top 5. But I’m very risk averse!

Post # 44
3544 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

catapple :  Just got my contract in the mail for a Career Counselor position at a university. I’m going to school for a  master’s degree that qualifies me for this position, which I will be finishing in May (thank God!). I had a strong background in student affairs as an undergraduate student, and for the past year and a half, I’ve been working near full-time (graduate assistantship) in the field, gaining very valuable experience. During that time, I met the director of the office that I will be starting at soon when I volunteered at a big, 2-day careeer event. She was impressed by my performance and kept in touch since. 5 months later, she approached me with this job opportunity. It was never posted (hidden job market), she came directly to me and I am officially accepting.

Who you know matters because of hidden opportunities like the one I was presented. But if I didn’t have the qualifications, then would the offer have come my way in the first place? I’m not sure. It’s a balance of both. In my area, my field is competitive, so you have to be qualified. There are 3 big programs cranking out grads, so I’m competing with people within my cohort, students in other programs in the immediate area and those looking to relocate to my city, and professionals already in the field looking for new opportunities. So I’m definitely at an advantage, as I’ll already be settled into my full time job once I do graduate in May. 

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