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Colorful balloons floating away in the sky.

I have worked hard the last few months during unemployment to launch my website and business, get published, improve my skills, and build my portfolio. These efforts have been hugely helpful for productivity and confidence. But still, so often I have felt like I’m almost to the finish line in landing a job and then…

There could be a million different reasons for why you get a no (or don’t hear back*) and so many things beyond our control. It made me reflect on my career and how it has progressed as a series of people taking a chance on me.

I had no experience in fundraising, yet the hiring team at a ballet company hired me in a development position. The director of marketing poached me two years later even though I had absolutely no experience in marketing (and vaguely knew what it even was!). I had only worked for non-profits yet an AVP of a cruise line hired me for a product marketing role.

Despite the gaps in my resumé, something made me stand out and these people went with their gut. That’s important to remember. It’s not always about what’s on your resumé or who you know. There will always be someone with more experience, or somebody who knows somebody. But there may be a visionary out there who sees beyond what’s on paper or profile or website.

All you need is for one person to take a chance on you.
Just one.

I am relieved and excited to share that that person finally found me and decided to take a chance. I was offered a full-time role at a creative agency and have accepted! I asked my new boss how she found me and it looks like all that time and effort spent on LinkedIn paid off.

I was unemployed for 20 weeks, applied to about 85 jobs, and interviewed for only a handful of them. In that time I can honestly say I did everything I could do and did my best every day. Some days when I was feeling low, my best meant sending one email or checking one item off of my list. And that was ok. On the good days I was busy with different projects all work-day long. I didn’t give up because I knew that when God willed it, I’d get the yes I was waiting for.

So the moral of the story is…Don’t give up. Do your best. And you gotta have faith. These are choices you must make on a daily basis.

And just because I got a job, that’s not the end of the road as far as my freelance writing. Now that the wheels are turning I hope I don’t go back to complacency and laziness, slipping back comfortably into old patterns. I made too much progress and there are still things I want to accomplish. If there’s anything that I take with me into this new chapter, I hope it’s that drive and tenacity.

As I look back on my journey in the land of unemployment, I am so grateful for the support from family, friends, and former colleagues who were sending me links to jobs, putting in a good word for me, passing along my resumé, giving words of encouragement, calling to ask how it was going or just to check in, offering me good advice, slipping a few extra dollars into my bank account (gracias, Mami y Papi). There was so much generosity and kindness. So perhaps the most important moral of the story is that if you surround yourself with good people who look out for you, you are never ever in it alone. For that, I am the most thankful.

*P.S. – To every recruiter, hiring manager, HR person, director filling a position, etc…Please remember that on the other end of every follow up email is a human being with hopes and feelings. There is a person who has put in time and effort to apply to your job (that you posted on your website) and is anxiously waiting to hear back from you. I know you’re busy, I know you have a hundred emails in your inbox, but please just answer your damn email. Even if it’s a “thanks, but no thanks,” then at least there’s closure. I can cross you off my list and move on. Because it is YOUR loss!

Lead photo: Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash; All other photos/gifs/memes: Google; ABBA graphic created by me.

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