These past few months has been crazy for me. In March, I hit my 3 year mark at my current company, and that also marked the halfway point of completion for my MBA program. I knew that timing was much better for me to move and look around. I had my heart set on making a move sometime in Q2 2016, and I am happy and blessed to announce that I have found a new opportunity: I will be joining SoftBank Group International (SoftBank's Private Equity arm) starting early June in a People Operations role. I chose SoftBank for a number of reasons, but one of the top reasons for joining was to work alongside and learn from an amazingly talented team.
I write a lot about career exploration, job searching and interviewing, and often get approached by friends on advice about those topics because I work in HR, but to say the least, my own personal journey was a very stressful transitional period. I internalized a lot of the feelings I was experiencing during my job search and kept quiet; I didn't want to share amongst friends and family because quite frankly, every hurdle and rejection I faced made me feel like an imposter. The fact that people look to me for advice on job stuff when I didn't quite have my own stuff together added even more pressure and stress. Aside from that, I had planned on leaving my job before the end of Q2, and combined with uncertainty of not having income, Bay Area's ridiculous cost of living, concerns about a global economic slowdown and having to pay for graduate school (one more payment left!), I was overwhelmed about how I would make ends meet. There was a lot going on in my mind, and I was juggling a lot on my plate.
When analyzing the data, in the last 3-4 months, I interacted with 30 companies on some level (initial phone call, recruiter screen, and/or email interactions). I went through 11 formal phone screens, and ended up landing 3 offers. I was fortunate to get a lot of initial traction and interest in my background, but I'm not going to flaunt and say this job search was easy because I did struggle, and yes I received a whole lot of rejections. While I was getting a lot of interest, I'll be honest: you tell me what you think about my 30:3 conversion ratio (probably even higher than 30 because I received cold rejections too). During these conversation with various companies, I would get push back either about compensation expectations, not having enough management experience, because I wasn't what they were looking for or because companies simply "forgot" to respond back. I heard all sorts of things. But, I kept chugging along, rejection after rejection, and things pulled through eventually. I knew job searching was partially a numbers game, partially luck and a matter of timing, patience, and perseverance. Yes, having an excellent resume and great experience is needed, but the stars must align in so many ways outside of just skill and talent. At the end of the day, I knew I shouldn't be making any hasty career decisions: I really needed this next job to not only be "MBA-level" but also push me further in my career so if I had to wait, I should wait. And I'm so excited I found the perfect fit at SoftBank.
This was the most extensive job search I've ever conducted, and I'm so happy that it's over. I'll write a bit more about what I learned and interesting interview questions I was asked in the next post.