The job search and interview process can be difficult. It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for and how to secure that role. Some tips I have for the process are below.
Job Search and Interview Tips
1. Write down a list of what you are looking for in a new job and your dealbreakers
2. Revise your resume and cover letter/customize for each job
3. Use a professional email
4. Set a limit for the number of jobs you will apply to per week
5. Apply to different tiers of jobs (easy, moderate and hard)
6. Send thank you notes after each phase of the interview process
7. Decline same day interviews
8. Test out your connection before the interview
9. Study the company and job posting
10. Write down a list of possible questions/answers
11. Write down follow up questions for the interview
12. Negotiate your salary
It is important to ask questions at the end of each interview. Some questions I suggest are below.
1. What is the workplace culture in the company/department?
2. Can you describe what a typical day looks like in the position?
3. What would you expect me to accomplish within the first 90 days of the position?
4. What are the most important qualities a person would need to possess in order to be successful in the position?
5. How is the performance evaluated?
6. What is the potential for growth in this role?
7. Are there any existing team building methods for the team?
13 years ago, I worked mainly in the dining room at Bojangles. I HATED that job. I was a junior in high school. I had no real bills but wanted a little extra spending money.
I will never forget the lessons I learned at that job. It was my first experience with learning how to deal with rude/difficult customers (some not all). I have used those lessons while working in many different environments…from labs, to academic institutions, to companies.
Your current job may not be your final destination. However, while working towards your next move, absorb information like a sponge. Take every experience as a learning experience. Use that information to do better the next time. It’s preparing you for your elevation.
The working world is an interesting place for black women. I secured my first “real” job at 22. It was a research position. My PI was a polite and hardworking man with a thick English accent. That being said, there were other circumstances that made the job somewhat challenging. At the time, I didn’t have a car. The commute required me to take three buses to work. Often times, I would work longer than my scheduled hours. There was an incident in which someone posted an incredibly insensitive poster on the door of the graduate student office (I’m about 99% sure of who it was). The poster included an image of shackled AA slaves to emphasize “how PIs see graduate students”. Being the only AA in the lab, I complained and the poster was removed.
I can recount other instances throughout the years that have made my short working career pretty interesting. All I will say is that it adds another level of stress to already stressful jobs. I would be lying if I said that I am not envious of my coworkers who do not have the same struggles (be it due to race or gender/sex).
What are some macroaggressions you’ve had to deal with at work?