Saturday, April 4, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

I know, I know; I dislike this phrase just as much as you do. My mom always told me this growing up, as well as “Good things come to those who wait.” While I didn’t understand this at the time, I understand it now. Many of the very best things that have happened in both my professional and personal life have come after hard work, perseverance, faith, and of course, patience.

I have talked to several students lately who are frustrated because they are waiting to hear from an employer after an interview. They know the hiring timeline, but are so excited about the opportunity and anxious to land a job that they can hardly wait to hear back. I understand how they feel; I was in their shoes just last spring when I was interviewing and trying to land my dream job in higher education. Here is some quick advice:

1) Make you follow up with your interviewer(s) appropriately
and do follow up via phone or email if you have not heard back from the employer after the appropriate time has passed. For example, if they told you would hear back from them in 3-4 weeks, and has been 3 ½ weeks and you have not heard back yet, it is fine to make a follow up call or send an email. One student told me recently that she heard you can never call an employer to follow-up. I assured her that it is fine to follow up, but you need to do so appropriately and use your best judgment. For example, you could follow up by placing a call to the recruiter or hiring manager and say, “Hello, my name is (your name) and I interviewed for the (position name) with (person you interviewed with) on (date). I am still very interested in this position and wanted to check in to see if the hiring timeline has changed.” This shows both initiative and interest.

2) Don’t stop looking for other opportunities that interest you. To quote one of our panelists from Career Week, “Make sure you have many balls in the air.” Use your resources (both at Career Services and elsewhere) to keep searching for other positions, go to networking events and talk to your friends and family who might be able to connect you with potential employers.

Most importantly, keep at it and don’t give up! :)

Good luck!!

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