Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jane Gets a Job, Episode 1

I know, I've been gone for a very long time. But my absence can be explained! You see, I have been in such an advanced state of anxiety for the entire month of February that I have barely been able to function, let alone compose anything remotely entertaining.

Job hunting. Is. The worst. It's just, it's truly the pits. It's the pits of an enormous and extremely sweaty giant. And that's where I've been sitting for the past twenty four days.

But then suddenly, this past Friday, my life changed and changed again. I got an offer for a job. And not just any offer for any job -- I got an offer for the job I've wanted for the past four years. The job I was actually supposed to get almost exactly a year ago. The job of my dreams.

Where does this story even start? I guess technically it begins with a party my family hosted the summer after my sophomore year in college. Ancient history, I know. But in order to get to the end of this story in a way that is utterly satisfactory, I feel that we must begin all the way at the very, very, very beginning.

My dad is a lawyer at a big law firm in New York, and the long-ago-party in question happened to be for the summer associates at his firm. I love those parties -- they are all about meeting new and interesting people and eating good food. After 23 years of being me, if there is one thing I know for sure about myself it is this: I am an extrovert. Also, I love food. So I guess I know two things for sure about myself.

Anyway, I was at this party, meeting the people, eating the food, and all of the sudden my mom grabs my arm, saying, "There's someone you have to meet!" And she pulls me across the room to meet a girl, a few years older than me, very pretty, and she says, "This is Rachel,* the legal recruiting assistant at the law firm! She was just telling me about her job and I seriously think it would be perfect for you!" I turned to Rachel and said, "uh.. cool! Ok! So... what do you do?"

Legal Recruiting Assistant. I had never even heard of such a thing. But once I learned about it, I knew I had to do it. Not only do they get to plan events and a summer program, but they do campus recruiting, branding, career development. They plan the strategy for how many offers you give out to get the right number of associates; they figure out how to market the firm so that it stands out from all the others; and all the while, a core part of their job is meeting a lot of people and encouraging them to pick their particular firm. That part, at least, I knew I could do.

I met Rachel at her office the following week for my first ever "informational interview." She was extremely friendly and approachable -- not surprising, really, as I think you have to be to be a recruiter. When I spoke with her, she mentioned that she also had not known anything about the Legal Recruiting industry before she fell into it. During her job search she had met with a number of external recruiting agencies, and one in particular which specialized in law firm positions. "If you are really interested in pursuing this field," she said, "you should definitely contact this woman." She wrote a name down on her card, "she helped me get this job and I'm sure she could help you find an internship or something for next summer." I thanked Rachel profusely and determined that I would reach out to her contact later that same day. I was on a mission.

I left her office feeling as though I had struck gold.

*Name changed

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