Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A Career Shift: To Marketing and Communications I go!

 I wrote back in December that I was pounding the virtual pavement trying to figure out my next move in the marketing and communications space--as that's where I envisioned my next full-time role. 

And, to be perfectly honest, the job search has been a mental grind. Those of you who've embarked on a job search over the past few years can attest to that grind. It is exhausting searching for jobs, tailoring a cover and resume to different job specifications, filling out online portals etc.

And if you're not able to get past that first stage of the application process, the majority of companies don't even respond with 'Thanks, but no thanks' to your application. You're just applying into the ether.

I ran the numbers and, since October, I've applied for over 100 communications positions and made it to an interview round for about a dozen roles. So my success rate in just achieving an interview was approximately 1 in 10.

I have no idea if that's a good batting average or not. I'm giving out these details because I know just how mentally draining the job search can be. And it can leave you with a crisis of confidence. 

Will I ever get a job again? What's wrong with my skill-set? What am I doing wrong? 

There have been some admittedly dark days over the past few months.

But if sharing my application numbers and being honest about the process can provide some solace to other people looking for work in a highly competitive job market, then it's worth it.

And speaking of that competitive job market: the influx of remote and hybrid jobs out there are fantastic for people looking to improve their work-life balance.

However, that also means the competition is even more fierce. You're up against dozens, sometimes hundreds of applicants for each role. How do you stand out in that environment?

I found myself applying for jobs I thought I was way overqualified for, at steep pay cuts to what I've become accustomed, just to hopefully snag an easy interview and build up some confidence.

Then that plan didn't even work and I was ghosted by jobs I didn't even want!

And the holiday season is not fun during a job search. Most companies shut things down for the month of December, postings are scarce and your stress level just continues to build.

But I do have good news to share! It took me awhile to get to this part of my post, but I prefer sharing my honest preamble to this process, rather than just happily post that I have a new job.

Scratch that: I have a new career! This week, I started a full-time, permanent position at Stantec, a global engineering and architecture firm.

I am a senior content specialist. Here's a 30-second elevator pitch of a portion of what I will be doing:

I will be researching and interviewing the top engineering minds at the company to learn about the innovative products and services they have developed/will be developing. And I will be taking these technical and complex processes and creating engaging and informative written content to promote them across a varied array of multimedia platforms. 

It's a fully remote position, I am part of a team of smart, capable and interesting people, and the compensation/benefits program and opportunities for career advancement at Stantec easily surpass every other job I've applied to over the past four months.

I could not be happier with this role. I wish I could go back in time and tell Mike from December 2022 that everything was going to work out. And that I was stressing for nothing. 

When I was in the midst of my job search, a former colleague, who had embarked on a similar journey the previous year, said that the career change was going to be the best thing to happen to me.

I had a hard time believing him at the time. But he was right. And I want to echo that advice. And I know others currently in a job search will have a hard time believing me, but it's true. It may take longer than you'd like, but it will happen.

 I have seen the light at the end of the job search tunnel. And for those of you feeling like you're in the darkness of the search, keep grinding and try your best to stay positive (I know it's easier said than done).

And now I'm sounding too much like a Batman movie, so I will wrap this up now.

Thanks for reading!