Successful job seeking in Russia

October 03, 2016

The personal experience of Angela Putylina

It's a double challenge to seek a job during the economic crisis for a person that has never actively searched a job! Nevertheless, I managed to get hired at my dream company, so I would like to share this success story with you.

Angela Putylina is a Professional MBA Marketing & Sales alumna and has gone through an exciting job search.

The beginning of 2016 was somewhat unexpected for me. With an MBA diploma of the WU Executive Academy in my pocket, (that I got a year before) I was looking forward to doing my best for Johnson & Johnson, the company that partially sponsored my 2 year study.

However, man proposes and God disposes; the deep restructuring of the company had put me on the labor market. I considered it as an opportunity to take a pause and I reassessed my professional and personal goals to find a better company for my future development. Moreover, my Professional MBA Marketing & Sales diploma made me more sure of myself and more courageous in the search for new solutions. For the first time in my life, I considered changing the field where I had been working in until now.

After outlining my strategy for searching my dream company, I did everything that anyone in my situation would have done: I contacted different recruiter agencies, including foreign ones. In addition, I updated my LinkedIn profile, registered myself at the agency HeadHunter and visited social media sites and asked for recommendations of good employers.

During 3 months, I met many recruiting specialists: I was interviewed regularly; I completed psychological tests and motivation questionnaires, prepared business-cases and self-presentations. I was surprised that all the discussed vacancies didn’t result in employment, but I was sure that the causes of failure didn’t result from me. Considering everything, I gained a new experience and today I could even organize an in-depth seminar on job seeking in Russia. However, I did something wrong. I missed an important element or used the wrong resources.

Angela invested plenty of time in her job search before she made a major change in her strategy.

I analyzed everything and understood that I needed help of a friend — and as Ambassador & Hub Manager of the WU Executive Club in Russia I got an invitation to participate in the WU Executive Club alumni gathering in Prague at the end of April 2016.

When I saw the program, I noted the lecture of Conrad Pramböck, executive search partner of the WU Executive Club and internationally acclaimed compensation specialist. I thought, “wow, this is exactly what I need.” I felt that the career expert would know the secret of an effective job search and would be glad to share it with the WU alumni; this is what exactly happened!

While juggling colorful circus balls, Conrad shared his first insight:

An employer is not looking for just an employee; s/he wants the best candidate for this position. In addition, the job seeker has to be sure and to believe that s/he is the very best choice, in terms of experience, education and skills for the respective position.

The second tip was about a more active use of your own network. Professional relationships with alumni or former colleagues and their direct recommendations can create a confident atmosphere which is helpful during all the various stages of the selection process.

At home, I reanalyzed my strategy, transformed the new information into a sort of "repositioning" of myself as for the best candidate to the targeted cohort of the companies. Then, I contacted my colleagues who know me as a successful specialist asking them to recommend me a company that would match my expectations.

As a result, everything was fine! Without agencies, I managed to contact directly the representatives of the company that was looking for a marketing specialist for an ambitious start-up in Russia. I passed through a complicated multistage process of selection and in June I found my job at Celgene* — my dream company in which I believe to be an effective player for a long time.

So, to rephrase a famous Russian proverb: “If you are drowning, you are on your own. It’s either sink or swim,” I realized that a powerful network is a wonderful tool not only for communication aspects after graduation, but it is also а lifesaving “buoy” when job seeking.

Thanks to WU Executive Academy, we have developed excellent relationships in different industries, countries and specialities. We are able to improve networking, we have developed an active and strong Alumni Club in Russia and we maintain regular contact with the WU Executive Academy. If needed, we can be successful in job seeking. I hope you use this advantage mainly on your own initiative!

 * Celgene is a leading global bio-pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for unmet medical needs in cancer and immune-inflammatory diseases.

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