Still. Not. Hired. :(

>> Sunday, August 19, 2012

As'alamo alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,Little aunties, I need your advice. I have been searching for a job for a long time now and I still have not gotten one. Being stuck at home all day has really gotten me down.  I feel like my days mix into each other and I don't know which day it is anymore. To be honest, I dread even opening my facebook anymore. While my friends put up their accomplishments on facebook and show their pictures at their work, I'm still in my house, all day, in pajamas. And the worst thing is that when I finally do get an interview, I always mess up and get really nervous. I’m starting to really get depressed and hopeless about this. Is there some kind of dua I can say to get a job? I hope you can help me somehow.Lookin'For Work

Dear Lookin'ForWork,

First of all, Eid Mubarak to you and all our lovely readers :)

Second, I know how you feel. I've been in your shoes. Looking for a job can be really tough: the "search", the interviewer's raised eyebrows and scrutinizing look at you from under her glasses [you've never worked before? and you have what exactly to offer us?],  the "wait" for a reply, and of course, your aunt's and uncle's whispers and questions at family gatherings [did she get a job, yet?]. I can also understand how it can be a little heartbreaking seeing your friends posting their pictures at work and talking about all the "things they do" while you still can't seem to get a job.

But you know what?

Every interview and attempt you take is another chance to get that job. It's like your shooting an arrow, and each time, getting closer to the target. A wise man once said: 
“I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” — Thomas Edison 
You know what made Thomas Edison successful?

It's that he kept trying. He didn't give up.
You too should not give up.
There's a famous saying that says: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take".
 You will definitely NOT get a job if you don't even try. There's no way that you'll get a job if you don't even send your CV or go to another interview.

Instead, when you don't get something, it's not a sign for you to give up/ become hopeless. It's a sign that you should look at why you didn't get it and how you can get it (next time). 

What you need to do right now is:
  1.       Make sure your CV is up to date and easy to read. Read tips on how to have an attractive CV and cover letter.
  2.       Watch videos and read links on how to ace a job interview. And then, actually practice job interviews. When I say “practice”, I literally mean practice. Ask a friend/family relative to act like an interviewer. Also, interview yourself several times and video tape it. Analyze what you can improve.
  3.       Write down good answers to the questions that usually throw you off during interviews. For example, how do you answer someone saying “Tell me about yourself”? Sit down and PREPARE good answers for such questions.
  4.      Take courses and certificates, sign up for extra classes, attend conventions that have to do with your field of study and even ones that don’t have to, and do some training somewhere. Say, for example, you want to be a teacher. Look for teaching courses and also other things like “computer courses”. The more skills you have, the more unique and valuable you are. And of course, the more qualified you are for the job you’re applying, the better.
  5.       Volunteer somewhere. Again, this could be related or unrelated to the field you want to work in.
  6.       Network: this is key. As an employee, I know that my boss has asked me several times if I could recommend anyone. Bosses prefer people who are “referred” to them by people they trust. That’s why it’s important that you maintain your friendships and broaden your circle of acquaintances. Make sure the people around you know that you are looking for a job (your neighbors, relatives, friends, colleagues, former professors, etc.). Send your CV to your relatives and ask them to keep it with them and if they know somebody who is looking to hire, to give it to them.
  7.     Search for “new” places opening up that need people. Remember the teacher example we gave earlier? Continuing with that example, if you wanted to teach somewhere, you should try searching for a new school that is still trying to establish itself.  New places usually have more vacancies than older ones and less requirements/ less qualifications needed.
Well, what about Islamic things to say or do to get a job? I can’t say exactly of a specific dua, but to increase our rizq or sustenance we should do the following:
 1.      Do istighfaar a lot.
“I [Nooh] said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft‑Forgiving; ‘He will send rain to you in abundance, ‘And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers”[Nooh 71:10-12]. 
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace Hood 11:3]. 

 2.      It was narrated from Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say after Fajr prayer: “Allaahumma inni as’aluka rizqan tayyiban wa ‘ilman naafi‘an wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan (O Allah, I ask You for a good (halaal) provision, beneficial knowledge and accepted deeds).” Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad (6/294); Ibn Maajah in al-Sunan (66).
3.      Observe the kinship ties.
Prophet Muhammad, Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam, said: Whoever desires that Allah increase his provision and extend his life, let him maintain his family ties"
That doesn’t mean sending a message to your aunties only on Eid, though. It means checking up on them regularly, telling them ‘hello’, visiting them, etc. [SubhanAllah, this could be related to the point we were mentioning earlier about networking]
             4. Put your trust and reliance on Allah: Tawakkul (Trust in Allah and Relying on Him)
 Allah says in the Quran: 
 "And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things."
[Surah Al-Talaq, Verse 2-3]

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
 “If you trust Allah with right kind of Tawakkul, He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs.” (Hadith in Al-Tirmidhi)

What about the depression and loneliness? 
You know what? While you’re searching for a job, you don’t actually have to be stuck at home all day. You can try and take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. You can even volunteer at a charity organization and meet other people? You can sign up for a class at the gym, go out and meet others :)
Try to think of some other goal you want to accomplish, besides getting a job, and start working on it. Do you want to lose weight? Become healthier? Learn to cook better? The point is that working on something is important. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and even helps your sense of identity.
 And you know what? You should FORCE yourself to wake up, take a shower, change your clothes. When you feel lazy and just want to stay in your jammies, remind yourself that you end up feeling bad about that later.
Another thing: there are lots of things that you can now do from the comfort of your own home. For example, what about translating articles or even writing articles?  Tutoring? Writing notes for university students of your major (and putting it up on a blog, for example)? There are always projects you can take up and things to do, while you  search for a job.
Finally, remember to be patient. Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala always has the servant's best interest in mind. Maybe Allah wanted to give you this time to get closer to Him instead of being distracted with work all the time. You never know! This time could be the most spiritually active time you have: without a family or responsibilities  you're free to do as much ibada as you want, SubhanAllah. This could actually all be a gift for you :)
Well sister, I hope this helps you a teensy weensy bit.
With love,


3 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Princess,  August 22, 2012 at 5:09 PM  

May Allah help you find a job that is beneficial for you in this life and the next life. May Allah guide you in the matters of the dunya and guide you in the matters of the akirah. Ameen.

I love you.

Anonymous,  August 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM  

As salaamu alaikum.

I'm sorry you're feeling in a rut dear sister. But seriously, you gotta get out fo those pajamas! That to me is the first step to positive thinking. You see when I'm in my pajamas all day, it's usually when I'm ill. Are you ill? Of course not, just a little down. By getting dressed in the morning, sorting out the space you live in will give you a kickstart. And about the facebook thing and all your friends achievements, this is why I don't do facebook. We learn about every little detail about someones life, and when things are dandy for someone else when you're feeling low, then it'll effect your self esteem. So I would put Facebook on hold for a while. Of course the wonderful supplications above will help you,getting closer to Allah by fasting, quraan reading, the night prayer etc. always leaves a person happier because you've done something for your akhirah. Make the most of ibaadah while you're out of work, because inshaAllah when you do get a job,your time will be limited in that area and you'll need to reorganise yoursef again. InshaAllah there is a job waiting for you, some of us need to wait a little longer than others that's all, and Allah is with the patient ones. This is your test, and the first way to accomplish good during this time is to first get outta those pj's and start thinking positively, because if you get an interview the way you feel now, might reflect on how you are during that. Hope this has been of some help!

Little Auntie August 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM  

I loved both of your comments <3

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
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