photo 41

Thanks to technology, with FaceTime, texting, imessage and email, our family network is getting stronger in spite of the distance that separates us.

Three weeks ago at the Shanghai airport waiting in line, I texted Jane and asked her how she was doing. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my daughter was struggling. Her rigorous job search effort had yielded nothing but hard-to-swallow rejections while some of her friends were awarded attractive offers. She didn’t do well on the mid-term. The core marketing classes were harder than she had expected. And on top of that, there seemed to be stress on her romantic relationship. Not a rosy picture.

“My life is going to nowhere. I don’t know what to do anymore. YOUR DAUGHTER IS A FAILURE!” Jane’s desperate cry was loud and clear.

I told me precious girl that I had been where she was now many times and therefore knew how she felt. While the stress and setbacks we are all bound to experience at one point or another may lead us to believe that we will be stuck forever, it is a temporary state and shall pass. I reminded Jane that she was beautiful, smart, funny and hardworking and the only way to get a job was by keeping on trying. I also promised I’d make it my mission to help her land a solid job.

Jane was serious about securing a promising internship for the summer of 2014 and set a goal to find it by Christmas. She started the quest in early September by going to job fairs and sending out thirty some resumes. She got about ten interviews. Three weeks ago, Jane had finished the first round of interviews with no encouraging feedback. Even the intern market is getting fiercely competitive!

So I launched my own “Help Jane find a job” campaign. Some of you may have received my emails with Jane’s resume. I solicited the help of the DVP of my previous employer. He came back with the information that the company only hires undergraduate interns from four universities and IU isn’t one of them. In other words, Jane would have to work for free if she chose to come. I talked to the HR person of my current employer. She pointed me to a recruiting firm that we use for acquiring talent. Jane submitted her resume through that firm. Last Friday I hosted the post-season soccer team party at our house upon Jake’s request. One of the dads works for a successful company Jane interviewed but was eliminated from the first round. He graciously offered to talk to the HR and find out the reasons why Jane got rejected. I received a well-thought and worded email from him yesterday. After reading it, I immediately forwarded it to Jane. Feedback like that is invaluable if one is open to learning from past mistakes and making improvement for future endeavors! Jake’s soccer coach sits on the board of the top business school in U.S. and he has been trying to connect Jane with the people in his network.

Finally a break came last week when Jane informed us via imessage that she was going to have two second-interviews this week. Joe, Michelle and I all jumped for joy. After a lengthy and stimulating four-way group conversation, Jane thanked us for our encouragement and advice.

This past Tuesday, Jane drove from Indiana to Indianapolis, stayed at a nice hotel overnight and went for a 6-hour interview the next day. The interview included two aptitude tests, a writing exercise, a group project, an hour-long knowledge and skill interview and a business presentation. They would choose 4 out of the final 6 candidates. Compared to what she had to go through, my interviews over two months ago were a piece of cake.

Jane and I connected Wednesday afternoon.

“Just finished!!!”

“How did you do?”

“I don’t know. I think it went ok! They said I’d find out on Tuesday.”

All the exclamation marks led me to believe that she did better than okay. I told her I felt good about her chances and I was very proud of her.

Early Thursday morning, another message from Jane, “I JUST GOT AN OFFER!!!”
She did it and all by herself because I have no connections to this corporation! Throughout this trying process, Joe and I made it clear to Jane by words as well as by actions that our support would be constant and unconditional. I think it helped Jane to keep on going without giving up.

Jane had another second interview yesterday and according to her, it went really well. She has two more to go next week. This is usually how it works in life: one success tends to initiate more victories. When she comes home for Thanksgiving, we’ll review and discuss her options. Ultimately, she’ll have to arrive at a decision she won’t regret but will be happy about in the long run.

Our little girl is all grown up and finding her place in this world. You are looking at a very proud mother!