It will soon be a year since The Oprah Winfrey Show went off of the air. Like clockwork my TiVo was set to record Oprah on a daily basis, and sometimes it would accidentally record an episode twice as though it wanted to make sure that I watched it. Oprah was my go to person for information on a topic, for advice on how to deal with a certain situation, or even the place I went to for an ugly cry. I can honestly say I’ve probably seen every episode of Oprah in my adult years and in vulnerable times have been known to sometimes ask, WWOD – “What would Oprah do?” I must also confess that I have not watched the final week of the show. It has been sitting on my TiVo for the last year as my hope was to watch it when the time was right. I think the time is finally right. The last couple of weeks have been challenging for me, as well as others, as we focus on our professional futures. If you’re a recent grad you may still be looking for that perfect job. If you’ve been in the field for a while as a new professional you’re probably looking for a mid-level or a different position. So when you’re going through a difficult moment when it comes to the job search, all you need to do is ask yourself, “What would Oprah do?!”
You’ve submitted about 20 cover letters and resumes in the last couple of weeks and no responses?
What would Oprah do? The reality is that sometimes it may take submitting applications for many, many, many jobs before you land the one. While we may hope that every job we apply for we automatically receive an interview, that’s just not the case. For some, you will think that you’re 100% qualified while the organization may think you’re not the right fit. You’re feeling anxious and you might even feel like you’re reaching a breaking point. Oprah would tell you to hang in there and keep submitting applications but that you might need to consider revamping your search technique.
You keep getting interviews but don’t get the job!
What would Oprah do? If you’re getting interviews, then you’re definitely doing something right! If you’re not landing the job, that doesn’t mean that you blew it or were not good enough. Ultimately, it probably means that you made their short list of candidates but someone else might have been a better fit for the position. If this is constantly occurring, Oprah would ask you to review your interview style and approach. Are you prepared? Are you able to elaborate on questions with concrete examples of experiences?
You didn’t get the job that you thought was your dream job?
What would Oprah do? When you think you’ve found the job for you and your interview blew everyone out of the water BUT you still end up not getting the job, Oprah would say: “You didn’t get that job because it wasn’t the job for you!” In addition to Oprah, you will probably have a lot of people telling you this and that there is something better on the horizon. Sometimes you won’t believe it but you have to believe it. You will not always get what you think you want. The universe has its own plan and sometimes you just have to be okay with that.
(Questions based on comments on #saschat and #sasearch.)
Nekesa Straker is a Residence Hall Director at New York University.