“Sorry we are not hiring” was the email I received for the first time when I applied for a job as a researcher. I had no money in my pocket and no job at that time because I recently quit a job that I hated. Fortunately, I had shelter to live but I knew, that too is not gonna last long if I don’t get a job fast. Gradually after so many disappointments and rejections I got the desired job. What I did to get the job was to apply the following three principles. If you follow these three principles, you will not just find a job fast but you will find the job of your dreams. Remember, I had no contacts and not everyone has contacts, so put this out of your mind that contacts will find you a job. If you are lucky, your contacts may find you a job, but not everyone is that lucky. Clearly I was not. The three principles are:
1- CALM DOWN AND THINK
Yes, it is natural to freak out and be nervous when you don’t have a job, but if you remain nervous and anxious, how will you do your job search and how will you perform in a job interview?
So what I want you to do is, just calm down and think. I want you to think and plan what kind of research job you want? It is not enough to just say that I want a research job. You need to have clarity about what research job do you want. You need to decide which specialty is your favorite and which specialty you don’t like. Because if you get a job in the specialty you don’t like, trust me your life will become extremely stressful. The same job you were praying to get, you will soon be praying to get out of. Now what you are supposed to do is, to write it down on a piece of paper about the exact specialty you want to join. I also sat calmly and planned. That planning gave me the direction as well as the motivation to get the rejections without getting disappointed.
2- DECIDE THE LOCATION
This is a very important point for a novice researcher specially if he is trying to find a job in the United States. If you are living in a remote area with only few universities around 100 miles radius, then it is time to move and start planning about a new location. Many new researchers will complain that I don’t have money, I am living with a friend or a relative, so how can I move. Well remember, if you find a job, you will immediately find a place to live. Talk to your employer right away to issue you an offer letter because you plan to rent a place nearby as soon as possible. Once you have the offer letter you can easily rent a room or a small apartment immediately. Thats what the landlords are looking for, some sort of guarantee that you can pay your rent. Just google rooms for rent in xyz city or just go to Craigslist. I decided California to be the place because California has a lot of research opportunities.
3- THE LAW OF AVERAGES
The law of averages says, “If you do something again and again, again and again, and again and again, a ratio will appear or an odd event will happen.” What does that mean? And what does it have to do with job search. The law of average does not only work in job hunt but it works everywhere in every industry and every part of our life. If you keep applying for jobs, you will get a rejection, and then you will get another rejection, then one after another you will get rejections. Don’t get disappointed, because the law of averages is working. You just need to keep the number of rejections and an odd event will happen- means a YES will come after so many NOs. A yes has to come no matter what, whether you like it or not, it is a simple mathematical law. The Yes is waiting to come. In easy language, a Yes is due, so just decide to get 100 NOs and trust me you will get a job. One of my friends once called me from Texas and ask me to guide her on how to get a job that offers legal work permit because she couldn’t legally work in this country. Guess what did I say? I asked her to follow the law of averages and because her case was trickier and she needed a work visa or permit, I asked her to contact 500 places for her job hunt. She did exactly the same. In less than ten days, she called me and told me that she got hired and the company offered her legal work permit. It was even faster than I thought, I thought it will take 3-6 month for her to find such an opportunity, but she found this opportunity in less than 10 days.
I now emphasize this to everyone to apply for as many jobs as possible, because it is a numbers game. I want you to do the same, apply for as many jobs as possible, even if the company is not hiring. Just call them and ask, may be they just got a position and it was not just posted on the internet. I did the same, and guess what was the number job position that gave me the job? I still remember that, it was the 300th email I sent to a lab that got me hired as volunteer. And based on this volunteer experience I found a paid job very soon.
Job hunt in any field is a science and art. There are many other factors that need to be followed to find a job. The above mentioned points are for those who have no contacts and want job fast. Just don’t give up and keep applying for jobs.