Joel Prince Varghese, Staff Data Scientist at eHealth, Inc.
Joel is currently a Staff Data Scientist at eHealth where he is working on Natural Language Processing and Customer Churn Uplift Modeling. He did his undergrad in Mechanical Engineering, Masters in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley before becoming a data scientist.
May 13th, 2016 was supposed to be a happy day.
The day I graduate with my Masters from Berkeley after an intense albeit enjoyable nine months. Unlike other mornings, I completely ignored the infamous snooze button and expeditiously opened up my inbox because in there was news that would potentially make or break my day. With my eyes barely open, my alarm blaring away, I frantically opened the email that had had the results of an on-site interview I had given a few days ago.
“We thank you for taking the time to apply to our data science…..”, I had read enough. The devastation and hopelessness that had consumed my half-awaken body at that instant had drained away my energy to read the rest, which I knew was just a nice way of saying that I wasn’t good enough. The bottom line remained that I had failed to get a job before graduation and I just wanted to throw in the towel. I did give up that day BUT I did not give up the next day or the next month. I continued working hard and finally landed an amazing opportunity a month after graduation. Fast forward to today and honestly, I thank the stars for that rejection because I wouldn’t have had the same level of success if I had traversed that path.
Life is an expert at testing our perseverance. While it’s not fair for me to make an exact apples-to-apples comparison of my frustration to the current frustrations of job hunting amidst a global pandemic, just know that no one could have expected this. It’s just a testament to the randomness of the universe and this is yet another test of your tenacity. However, just know that you’re not alone, everyone in a similar situation as you, almost everywhere is struggling. If you’re looking for your first job, got laid off, or trying to find a new job, things are probably as tricky and uncertain as they can be. Here are some tips to navigate the job search during this time:
Tip 1 — Apply Apply Apply
Honestly, finding your first job or making a career transition to a new role is usually a game of numbers. The more you apply, the greater the probability of you hearing something back. I mean, that was when things were normal, at this time, you need to do that 10x times. Find every possible job opening and apply for it. Use your university career website, LinkedIn, Indeed, WayUp, AngelList, and apply apply apply. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the years of experience or all the skills listed in the job description, just apply so your resume is out there. The more it’s out there, the more likely it is to catch someone’s eye and the greater chance of hearing back.