Greg's Story: Getting His Foot in the Door
Job searching in a deflated market can be difficult for even the most qualified candidates. Even before finishing his graduate degree, Greg was eagerly pursuing job openings. He wanted to work in his area of expertise—real estate development—but knew he should be broad in his job search.
He said, “I had to take a step back and say, ‘If developers aren’t developing, then what is going on in the industry?’ I pegged areas where I thought there was activity going on—banking, acquisitions of new properties, dispositions of properties, and managing of current properties.”
Greg and his wife, Allice, felt strongly that their young family needed to move to find the right job market for Greg’s career goals. He began searching for jobs in other regions as his family packed up and moved across the country. A week after their move, Greg interviewed for a financial analyst position with a major bank. He was one of five finalists out of over 170 applicants. The interview went well, and Greg felt confident about his prospects. However, a candidate with more work experience landed the job.
During the next two months Greg tried to network and conduct a job search on his own without much success. Then Greg received an unexpected call from his ward employment specialist, Brother Don McCauley. He explained that Greg’s records had just come in from his previous ward and that he was calling to find out more about him. After discussing his situation, Brother McCauley gave Greg the name of a friend in the real estate industry. He also encouraged him to attend the weekly stake employment meeting.
For the next few weeks Greg attended the stake employment meeting. He spent those evenings counseling with ward employment specialists and networking with other Church members. They helped him start to compose his “Me in 30 Seconds” and power statements. It was at these meetings that Greg learned about the employment resource center, which led him to take the Career Workshop.
“I went into the workshop thinking, ‘I’m doing as much as I can,’ ” Greg said. “But after going to the class I realized I could do more. I could make it a priority to call five people a day. I could do more than send a few e-mails and post my résumé online. I think in the era of text messaging and e-mailing that there are many people who have gotten away from talking to someone. At some point everyone has to push through that wall of fear to call someone or ask for help. That’s what I kept telling myself through this entire process.”
With renewed determination, Greg called Brother McCauley’s networking contact and set up a meeting. He discovered there were no open positions in the contact’s department, but received the name of another contact. Once again he picked up the phone and arranged a meeting, only to find out that there were no available positions.
That night, Allice suggested they search the company’s website “just for fun to see what’s out there.” To their amazement, a job had been posted that afternoon. Greg sent in an application that night. He interviewed, and was soon offered a position.
Greg knows his family also played an important role in his job search. He said, “I think something we often forget when we’re in the middle of this job search is that we’ve got a lot of people around us who are there to support us and help us. The faith and love of family was certainly a huge help for me making it through the really trying times and eventually finding employment.”
Reflecting on his experience, Greg said, “All it took was one person to help me get my foot in the door, but I still had to do my part. I am convinced that because I was putting forth an effort and trying to do all I could do that the difference was made up.”