I have been hearing lately from some clients that the job search is taking them much longer than anticipated – companies are slow in making decisions, and in some cases, they have opted to advance an internal employee after interviewing several candidates. I’ve seen that situation happen many times in my recruitment career and it’s always very frustrating for a candidate who’s put in a lot of time and effort into interviewing with that particular company.
If you’ve been in that situation, it could be hard not to get depressed or at least feel very low.
When depression creeps into a lengthy job search, the effects are crippling…it’s hard enough dealing with a loss of income and loss of job title.
I am not a certified counselor, but my advice in this area comes from personal experience and it comes from the heart. I remember speaking to one candidate who’s just lost his very high paying job and his wife has also just been made redundant. I can imagine how stressful this situation must have been for the whole family.
Whether you are knee-deep in a job search, involuntarily unemployed or about to start a search on your own, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Get your mind prepped for the long haul: What often surprises most job seekers is how long the job search may actually take – yes, the opportunities exist, but in a competitive market where companies want to minimize their job search costs, it can easily take a few months. There might be a lot of open positions, but there are also a lot of candidates looking.
2) Don’t blame yourself but really think hard if you are doing everything you can. It’s hard to avoid doubting yourself and questioning your abilities when the job search seems to drag on and on. Before you start beating yourself up about your age, your degree, your experience or your places of employment, consider your online and offline brand presentation. Is your resume targeted to each position you are applying for? Is your LinkedIn profile complete? Are you actively networking with people who could help you find that next job?
3) Lose the online/computer addiction: Technology is great and can definitely help you in your job search, but don’t become addicted to emails and online job portals as your only source for job opportunities. If your daily goals, include resume blasting and applying for 10 jobs each day, you could be looking for a job for a very long time. And trust me when I say that you’d be better off applying for less jobs but tailoring your application to those you do apply for.
4) Push past feeling uncomfortable, do it anyway: A lot of people feel uncomfortable with networking and even reaching out to people to explore untapped job opportunities. I can relate, but challenge yourself to do it anyway…make a phone call, invite someone for coffee, hold your own networking meeting with employed colleagues, create your personal advisory team, just do it anyway.
5) Take a closer look at that bridge job: It could be a lateral move, a short-term consulting project, a part-time job or a new industry to offer your expertise.
6) Connect and stay connected to others: Your personal job situation may only affect you and your immediate family, but you are NOT the only one going through it. Find support groups through professional networks and other associations…the more you disconnect from others, the more you will become isolated and depressed.
7) Get help. If you’ve had several unsuccessful interviews, it is highly likely that your interview technique is to blame. Get some help and get it quick, unless you plan to spend the next 6 months with no income. Don’t wait until you’ve had 20 unsuccessful interviews and your confidence is completely lost before you get some support.
If you’d like some help, please email me on Margaret@interview-coach.co.uk and let’s talk! The longer you wait, the more difficult it is going to get, so why wait?
To those of you still searching, still hoping and still trying, keep pushing and pushing until you reach success. I wish you luck!