She had the resume to land a job as the contributing editor for an international business magazine, but her lack of business knowledge almost got her fired. A complete understanding of a job’s requirements is an essential component for successful employment. Here’s her true story:
I was thrilled when I landed the position of contributing editor for an internationally-known online business magazine. It had taken longer than a year of searching the Internet and local resources before I found this job, and it was practically a miracle that such a position was advertised in my own home town newspaper.
My background had been in proofreading and professional web writing. I was careful to stress my relevant experience during the interview and on my resume, and those valuable skills were immediately recognized by the magazine’s publisher. I had the chops to impress my employer-to-be, and I was hired over multiple applicants from around the U.S.
Unfortunately, I had failed to realize my unfamiliarity with the business world in general would prevent me from immediate success. It was a foolish oversight on both the part of myself and of my employer, and my ignorance quickly put my job in jeopardy.
Although I had been hired under the title of contributing editor, I was demoted to the position of staff writer within the first few days. I practically had to start from the ground up because of my business naiveté, and it was only because the office needed help that I was able to maintain my position at all. It took me months to earn the respect of the publisher and become a trusted member of his editorial team. I kept kicking myself because I should have boned up on online commerce before I even applied for the job.
The reason I think I found this job at all is because I was persistent in the job search. I bookmarked a large number of writing job websites on my computer, and checked them often for updated listings. I applied for any jobs that seemed to fit my skills, and sent follow-up letters if I was particularly interested. The competition for jobs is stiff across the country, so I knew persistence would be vital.
Another job search trick I used was social media. Social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook helped me to connect with writers and journalists in my field, many of whom were happy to assist me in finding employment. Not that social media actually worked for me, but the more people you know in business, the more opportunities come your way.
Finally, I would tell other job seekers to be realistic about your knowledge and abilities. Believing in yourself and projecting confidence can definitely help you land a position, but an employee who lacks the proper skills for a job quickly becomes apparent. My advice would be, if the job is worth applying for, determine if you truly have the skills necessary to do it properly. If not, get those skills before applying.
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