It does not feel like 2016 could be going by so fast. It seems like yesterday I was waking up to a new year and now it’s already half way done and we are that much closer to another year with even better opportunities. This summer, I knew I would have to work and work a lot. I decided that I would like to live in an apartment this upcoming fall, and so now I am obligated to buy furniture, which tends to be expensive, as well as try to save up for living expenses. In order to do that, I would need a job.
The Job Search
I started my job search in February. I know this sounds early, but I was eager to get started and worried I would not be able to find anything I wanted to do. I knew I would either need a full time job or possibly two part time jobs. I preferred to work in an office and was hoping for a receptionist or secretary job because I am familiar with the activities due to my on-campus employment. If I could not find a job in either of these niches, I wanted to find a job in retail that I think would give me experience that I can take into the future and use to my advantage.
How to Keep Track of Jobs Applied To
In February, there was not much to apply for. My search continued into March when the job market for summer hires did expand. Suddenly, there were many summer employment opportunities and I was applying for several of them. In order to keep track of the jobs I applied for, I started writing down on a note card the place I applied for, the phone number, and date I applied. I put this card in my phone case and carried it around in case I needed it when I was out of my dorm and received a call.
Some of the jobs seemed perfect. I applied for a receptionist job at a hospital in downtown Indianapolis. There was an interesting position for summer help at a law firm. The Indianapolis Zoo was also hiring and promoted that they would pay $8.25 an hour, which is $1 more than minimum wage in Indiana. I was excited for all these opportunities and the people I would meet and the skills I would learn. But as I waited and waited for a reply, I grew more tense. No one was responding and I could not figure out why.
Maybe it was my resume. I tried to stand out by adding just a splash of color to my resume, making my name and headers red instead of black. But for each application and resume I turned in, I made sure to tailor it to that job. I thought the information on my resume was very good. 3.7 GPA, Dean’s List 3 semesters out of the 3 I had been at Ball State, the three jobs I work while at school, previous jobs in child care and food service, the list of leadership positions I have held both at my college and at the state level, the three places I volunteered at…. What was I missing?
Finally, I received an email. I was invited to an interview at my convenience! I was ecstatic. It was for a summer temp position in the office of a trucking company based out of Indianapolis. I set it up for the following Friday and took the afternoon off at my work. I went in extremely confident. Despite my social anxiety, I do surprisingly well at job interviews. I have no doubt in my mind that I will do well and that helps. I arrived early (so early that I sat out in my car for ten minutes and did some minor research on the company) before entering the building and meeting with the hiring specialist from the PR Department. He asked some basic questions about why I would be a good fit for the job and then about my summer availability. It was rather easy and I know I nailed it.
The Interview pt. 2
Then I had a second interview. While surprised, I remained flexible and went along with it. This interview was with the director of the department I might be working with. He was tougher than the first interviewer. It helped that I go to college with his daughter (even though I’ve never met her) and was able to connect with him over that. I did stumble at one point when he asked a question that stumped me, but he kindly clarified and I was able to recover and make a good impression. At the end of this second interview, he said, “You seem highly qualified and would make a good addition to our team. I have a few more interviews lined up but we’ll contact you by the end of next week.”
That’s good, right? My boyfriend did not seem to think so, but only time would tell. I anxiously waited for that next week, consistently checking my phone for any email correspondences. I had one that Thursday. I took a deep breath and opened it, then sighed in disappointment. They had not yet come to a decision, but wanted to gauge my continued interest in the position. I replied as soon as I could that I was still extremely interested and was looking forward to hearing the decision that they would make.
As the next week dragged on, I waited and waited. That Friday afternoon I still had not hear anything and was exasperated and disappointed that I would have to wait another three days until I heard from them. I ran an errand at work and came back to find that I had a missed call and voicemail on my phone. My boss does not mind if I am on my phone for a bit at work so I listened to the message. It was from the company! They did not give away anything, but asked me to call back. I took a few minutes to call them back, and he did not answer. I then left him a message, laughing about the phone tag we were playing. My heart was pounding. Did I or did I not get the job? A few minutes later, I received another call. This time I answered. I was hired.
My job is amazing. It’s 8-5 Monday thru Friday, so I never have to work weekends. When it gets busier in the coming weeks, I might have to work overtime, but I’m okay with that. I have an hour for lunch, and because my job is in the city, I can go down the street to the mall and grab something at the food court and go window shopping. I usually bring a book with me that I can read on breaks. Speaking of breaks, I get two paid 15 minute breaks along with my hour lunch, although my lunch is not paid. The office was renovated a few years ago and being into interior design myself I know that they did a great job. I love walking into the building because everywhere looks amazing. Around the building is a walking track and they encourage employees to use it on their breaks. The HR department has a wellness initiative every month, gives us access to health articles, and brings in a registered nurse twice a month for employees to discuss any health issues with. Everyone is super friendly and is always saying hello to me in the halls.
What I do is rather simple. I am just the help. If someone needs their papers to be filed, I’m their girl. If they’re overwhelmed by the amount of work they have I get to do some of it for them. I file and do data entry, I do quality checks on information the drivers send in, I copy papers and shred sensitive documents. One of the best parts about this job is that I get paid $10.25 an hour, which is $3 more than minimum wage and I get paid every Friday. I am truly lucky to have been offered this opportunity with such an amazing company.
What are you doing this summer? Do you have any interview tips? What about advice for first-day nerves? I would love to hear from you!