Five years ago today, I was getting ready for a job interview. I was desperate, sick (literally) and tired: 2 years, more than 250 job applications, more than 25 in-person interviews and no offers. I was the affirmative action candidate that recruiters bring to cover their need for women and minorities. On top of that, it was winter in Montreal and I was done with the snow.
True, I have a thick accent as French is my 4th language, but most of the jobs I was applying to were in English, in international companies.
In November 2017, seeing that our bank account was depleted after 2 years of unemployment, I had stopped looking for jobs in Montreal and started my job search in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. I got excited when I managed to get 2 in-person interviews for the same week.
I stayed in a dirty Airbnb in downtown Toronto that I barely could afford and I made my last bet: I skipped dinner and used money we didn’t have to attend a workshop that would help me plan my year and re-shape my beliefs.
I was not feeling well but the facilitator was engaging in a Tony Robbins kind of way. I wondered if all the coaches were supposed to be like that. He had, of course, trained with Robbins.
I met a couple of people while eating some chips and waiting for the session to start. The session was good (visualizing, listing goals, prioritizing) but the most exciting part was that I managed to break the board at the second attempt. Even though I was sick, I wanted to prove myself I could do it.
The next day I went for my first job interview at York University. I had a cold but tried my best. I had a great conversation and many moments of laughter with the interview panel. We truly enjoyed the process. At the end, they asked me how I felt. I said that I was coming home excited, and what gave me hope was the board I had broken. Showed them the pictures and the board (as I was going to another interview and back to Montreal afterwards) and briefly told them the story.
I had my second interview in downtown and had also a great conversation with a lady from South Africa, who interviewed people all over the world.
A couple of weeks later, I was called for a second interview by the same group, and one of the dependencies in Ontario Service. I was really happy to see that the process was moving forward, as I didn\’t imagine they would call me so soon.
At the end of January, 2015, I got 4 job offers to choose from (the university, a crown corporation, Ontario Service and international engineering firm). I took the York University one. A fifth one came in a month after I started at York.
Applying to jobs outside of Quebec certainly was a good idea, but I\’m sure that what made a difference was the clarity and energy I got in this process, combined with a boost in self-confidence that I certainly needed after the exhausting couple of years looking for a job in Montreal.
Henry Ford\’s quote came to my mind: Whether you think you can or you think you can\’t, you\’re right.
I am so convinced that this works, that every year I follow the same steps (except for the board breaking) that I learned 5 years ago. Also, I incorporated the learnings into my professional and personal development workshops. I truly believe in the power of inspiration, visioning, goal setting and constant work.
A couple of years, I even delivered these sessions in a workshop for YU staff. Months later, three of the participants sent me a message to let me know how the workshop has changed their lives.
If you feel you haven’t reached your potential, please message me and let me offer you the tools and services I have for you. Life is too short to do something you don\’t enjoy!