quill-175980 Previously, I discussed how my wonky unconventional cover letter enabled me to garner the interest of an awesome potential employer. I should mention that this approach has its risks, as the cover letter might not be appreciated by the person (or computer) that reads it. Furthermore, my cover letter did include all the essential elements of a conventional cover letter. Fortunately, the riskier letter worked allowing me to present my case on how I could be a good fit for the lab. Following the advice of other professionals (primarily from linkedin groups), I learned what I could of the lab and drafted a response that would illustrate how my particular combination of skills could be incorporated into the P.I’s current efforts.

But there was just one little problem.

The lab required a basic amount of programming skills, some sort of code that proved that I could back the statements in my cover letter and resume.

It wasn’t that I didn’t excel in the few programming course I took, so I did have some code I could share (thank you Dr. Kelley). However, that code was written a long time ago in python 2.5, and it no longer worked in the current version of python. I had to build something new–and fast. At this point I suspected that I probably would not be able to meet the basic programming skills needed for this group so I had no qualms about risking it all on a stupid fun little game that essentially gave a variety of reasons why I should be allowed to join this group. If that would be the exit point, I was at least going out with a blast.

I didn’t hear back from the P.I. so I resumed my traditional job search with renewed gusto, because any response from a human being during a job search can be energizing.

Turns out the P.I. had been traveling. When I did hear back from him he had an unexpectedly AWESOME scenario for me.

So sometimes landing an awesome job involves following a lot of good advice and a bit of dumb luck serendipity. But it also helps to 1. stay positive, and 2. to know yourself which helps you to realize how you can contribute to a group/organization’s efforts. (This is, of course, more great advice I got from others in my network.)