All the Interviews, None of the Jobs

It’s a brand new year and many people are ready for everything brand new –  including their job.  While optimism is a great asset to have when seeking alternative employment the fact is unemployment rates decreased to 9.4% in December ( the lowest they’ve been since March 2009).  To put that percentage into tangible terms, this  means that approximately 15 million people in the U.S. are jobless.  To make matters worse the unemployment rate among African-Americans is higher than any other group of people at 15.8%.

So, if you’re a young, optimistic, African-American woman fresh out of college like myself its likely that obtaining employment will be a challenge.  And of course , in my case it is.

While I knew that the economy was in crisis I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of it until I tried to gain full-time employment. Having graduated  cum laude from Howard University and having numerous competitive internship on my resume I under estimated how difficult it would be to become employed. But despite my job hunt struggles I decided to turn down several good offers in Washington, D.C. to pursue my dream of moving to New York City.

Now that I am in New York I wouldn’t say that my optimism has run dry, but I will say that the realities of the economy have never been so vivid.  Living in the largest city in the United States means that there are hundreds of over qualified people for ever single job opening. Imagine throwing a piece of bread into an ocean full of starving fish.  There’s big fish, small fish, old fish, young fish, and even sharks. That’s what getting a good job in the city looks like.  Everybody viciously attacks the most unappetizing morsel of a job because they’re STARVING for employment.

Now, I  started seriously applying for jobs in the city  back  in October 2010. Because I knew the state of the economy I branched out from my public relations background and applied for everything from restaurant manager, to sales assistant, to administrative assistant, to personal assistant, even to nanny positions. While I received many bites, I have yet to catch anything.  So far I’ve had 9 phone interview, 15 in person interview, 5 second interviews, and wait for it…. no job offers.

Now one might say ” maybe you don’t interview well. Thats why you’re not employed yet.” And you know what I have to say to that. I AM A PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEWER. Don’t even get me started on how many interviews I had in D.C. and how many jobs I could have accepted if I didn’t decide to pursue my dream.

So back to the topic of general unemployment in the United States. If you want some advice on how to get a job, I can’t help you. What I can do is help you get an interview. Haha. No I probably can’t even do that.  But I will quote my mother by saying ” the squeaky wheel gets the oil” Meaning, no matter how many jobs you apply to and no matter how many interview you go to DON’T GIVE UP.  After you do have an interview send a thank-you email, then send a follow-up email if you haven’t heard back, and perhaps even give a follow-up phone call to express your interest.

Persistence is the key in getting a job in this horrible economy.  So if your like me getting all of the interviews and none of the jobs don’t give up. Just keep on squeaking and you’ll eventually catch something.