Life after graduation

I was informed two days ago by WordPress that my blog had its first ‘birthday’ and that triggered a range of thoughts. ┬áCelebrating a year on this blog means it’s been a year since major changes in my life, like moving to England, starting my Master’s degree and adjusting to a new life.

Well, in truly celebratory fashion of that event, the time has come to adjust to a new life again. I am staying in dear England, but the end of my Master’s degree has brought a new set of priorities and desires into my life, with a big part played by the agonising process to find a job. So between writing applications I try to read advice on how to survive in this new world I’m entering, which I would like to share with you.

A very good video is the interview done by Francesca Levy, the Senior Editor at LinkedIn, with author and New York Times journalist Adam Bryant. Some of the key insights from the video is that when you get to the stage of interview, you’ve already passed the gatekeeper that reviews your skills and experience, so you should sell a different side of yourself: your personality. And while interviewers try to pose trick questions to uncover it, interviewees try to give polished, ‘right’ answers making it more difficult for everyone. An interesting approach would be to be able to tell your story as it allows the interviewee to script their story (chronological, by importance of events, etc.) and the interviewer to see how the candidate thinks by observing the underlying structure of their story. Whatever you do, you also have to show what you can bring to the company but in a genuine, conversational way which will actually reflect you as a person. I think it’s a bit like advertising really, companies who try to be too pushy, efficient, cheap, most extraordinary don’t succeed because consumers can see right through their claims. Companies who are genuine and friendly, like Innocent for example, have much better chances.

An article I read which made quite an impression on me is that of Simon Wong, from the Harvard Business Review, which praised the first jobs you have as a young person. He described his experience and how you can learn so much about people from being a cleaner in a luxury goods store or in a restaurant. Perhaps because my first job was in restaurant, the article made me think that it’s a pity you can’t mention experiences which have changed you if they don’t match the profile of the job you’re applying for. But perhaps that’s what the interview can help you with.

My biggest lesson is: try to make your personality shine if given the chance, because pretty much everyone is qualified nowadays.

Any other interesting reads, articles, thoughts would be very much welcome!

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