Storm Surges and Lessons Learned

By Jackie Renner

We all have our stories from time to time.  Here’s mine.  October was an extraordinary month in many ways.  I entered the month with six solid job opportunities.  I thought that with such an abundant slate, one would surely come through.  I planned networking and job applications to keep fresh opportunities coming.  I worked on both throughout the month.  Yet, the month did not end as I had envisioned.

As I entered November, I was shocked to see how the landscape had changed!

  • Two of the opportunities closed for me as the hiring companies re-launched their searches to get a closer match on industry background or experience.
  • Two other opportunities were with one company.  I had a great set of interviews, but one week after the last interview the company announced a major reorganization and both positions got filled internally.
  • For the fifth opportunity, I was the lead candidate in the search.  I was scheduled to talk to the recruiter on next steps on a Friday of one of these momentous weeks.  On Wednesday of that same week a press release was issued:  the company was being acquired. Search off.
  • The sixth opportunity is still alive, but delayed.  I had an interview scheduled for Monday, October 29 in Battery Park, New York City. Yes, the Battery Park of Superstorm Sandy flooding fame.  I had come to NYC the weekend before to visit with friends and family.  I didn’t have the interview (yet), but rather a first-hand lesson in emergency preparedness as I weathered (no pun intended) the storm and its aftermath all that week.

Lessons learned:

  • Be prepared:   Don’t let the job storm surge hit you unprepared. Continue to network. I had taken Clyde’s writing seriously and had continued to network moving into October, so I am not starting from the beginning, but I had throttled back some, figuring one of the six opportunities would come to fruition.  I should not have pulled back; I should have been prepared for the surge.
  • Stay grounded:   Crazy things can happen in a job search.  Like a storm surge.  Processes aren’t linear; situations are fluid.  You don’t have to be swept away by events, however.  Stay focused on your goals, skills, and accomplishments. These will keep you moving forward and able to navigate the shifting tides.
  • Stay positive:  Resilience was a word used often in the media as Superstorm Sandy headed towards NY/NJ, and in the days afterward.  The ability to bounce back is critical, after a storm or after a setback in your search.
  • Keep your job search in perspective:  When you learn that a job opportunity is gone, go ahead and feel bad, but keep it in perspective. There are far worse things that can happen in life.

Keep your chin up, brace for the storm surges, and continue to move forward. The storm will pass.


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