Searching for a job is hard….and stressful…and tiring…..and frustrating…..and sometimes it may even feel hopeless. At times, it may feel like you are so stuck you are never going to get out of the place that you’re trying to get out of and you may as well give up.
Well I’m here to tell you to turn that frown upside down because all isn’t dark and stormy. A job search that seems stagnant or hopeless is almost like one of those Rubik’s cube things. At first it seems impossible to figure out, but once you start putting the pieces together and build some momentum, you’re on your way to solving the problem. (For the record I’ve never come anywhere close to solving a Rubik’s cube; helping people in their job searches is way easier).
So now that I’ve gotten a couple jokes in, it’s time to get serious. Why is your job search failing? Well, the problem is most likely….you….Now before you get mad at me, I’m not saying you are a problem. I’m saying that the way you are going about your job search is a problem. So let’s look at some reasons why your job search may be feeling and some ways you can fix it.
#1 You Aren’t Telling Anyone
Looking for a new job, whether it’s because you were let go or because you want to make a change, often times feels like a personal thing. Especially if you were let go from your job, you may feel embarrassed to tell people or bring it up to anyone. It may seem like the easier option is to just keep it to yourself and hop on the computer and start your job search on one of your favorite job boards.
Well, this is unfortunately the wrong approach. If you keep that you’re looking for a job to yourself, you are closing off a huge tool when it comes to the search. Your network!
How to Fix The Mistake: You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to let people in your network know that you’re looking for a job. Family and friends are usually a great support system and may even be able to help you out in some situations. Now, it’s probably a little over the top to make dramatic posts on Facebook or LinkedIn saying you lost your job and need to find work immediately. You should do it a little more subtly.
For family and friends, you can bring it up casually in conversation when they ask how you’re doing and how your job is. When you start getting into people you don’t talk to as often, you want to be careful that you aren’t just reaching out and asking for a job. You want to take a look at where they work and let them know you’ve always been interested in Company XYZ because you are a skilled XXX Job Title and would love for them to let you know if they hear about any job openings. Always keep in mind you want to demonstrate your value.
#2 You Get Discourage Easily
Finding a job is a full-time job. If you haven’t heard that phrase, then you heard it here first. The point being that the amount of effort you put in will dictate the results you see. Too many times, clients tell me they applied to one or two jobs per week or spent only a couple hours a week searching for jobs. It doesn’t surprise me that they haven’t been able to find a new job yet because of the lack of effort that they’ve put in.
How To Fix The Problem: SPEND MORE TIME LOOKING FOR JOBS! Sorry I didn’t mean to yell. The more you search, the more potential you have for finding something. You should be putting in at least 4 hours a day to finding a job if you’re unemployed and at least 2 if you’re employed but still searching (and that’s going easy on you). These hours don’t count the time you should be spending actually THINKING about what it is you want to do and what it is that you’re qualified to be doing. Too many times people just go on a job board and let the internet tell them what they should be doing for a job. This couldn’t be more backwards. To quote Bon Jovi (and I’m not sure why I’m quoting Bon Jovi but let’s just let it happen) but to quote Bon Jovi “It’s your life and it’s now or never.” So, you should be telling Google what jobs you’re looking for, not the other way around.
#3 You Aren’t Networking the Right Way
Anyone can apply to a job online; it takes a little patience and a halfway decent resume. The key to finding a job (unless you hit the lottery and your resume is picked out of a pile of 1000 people) is networking. Many people thinking of networking as telling their mom or dad they can’t find a job, or going on LinkedIn and randomly messaging people asking if they are hiring. 99% of the time, this doesn’t work. (Congrats to the 1% who randomly message people on LinkedIn and actually get a job that way).
How To Fix The Problem: Come up with a better networking strategy, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you can’t go into networking like a bull in a china shop, you need to have some sort of a plan. Networking is a strategic thing, because a lot of times, you only get one shot (I wasn’t trying to make an Eminem reference but I could have) There are different strategies that should be taken if you are networking with people via LinkedIn versus in person. For both though, you should make sure your elevator pitch is ready so you aren’t flustered when someone asks you about yourself or what exactly you want.
Take time to think of your networking plan and the people in your network who may best be able to get you where you want to be.
The moral of the story is, if you feel as though your job search is failing, you have the power to fix it. By taking the steps above, you can put yourself in the right position to find the job you’ve been looking for. The important thing is not to give up and never be afraid to get help when you need it.