I’m going to preface this article by saying plenty of jobseekers I know are conducting a proactive job search but to no avail.
They’re not relying completely on the job boards, placing all their cards on recruiters, sending out cookie cutter resumes, and wasting their time on more ineffective job search methods. In other words, they’re trying. I and other career trainers see your efforts and applaud you.
A recent article on wjs.com called No Market for Lazy Jobseekers, Ruth Mantell, might give you the impression that we career search pundits think conducting the proper job search will guarantee you a job. That we don’t understand the emotional and financial difficulties that consume many people who have been unemployed for one month or one year.
The article notes 10 lazy job-seeking habits. And while they may be accurate, the article doesn’t take into consideration the complexity of finding a job in today’s economy. It doesn’t feign empathy for those who have done what has been asked of them in terms of conducting the proper job search.
But our mission as job search trainers is to give guidance. It isn’t to dwell on the unfortunate realities of unemployment. To that end, we can only point out obvious mistakes, as noted in the article, and offer up suggestions that make for a more productive job search.
Some career trainers like me have lost a job, or two, and understand the despondency heightened by day after day of activity with little progress. The words “it sucks” don’t quite cover the emotional rollercoaster you…I’ve…gone through.
To say, “We get it” is accurate. We understand that telling jobseekers how to find work is often easier said than done; but, at the same time, to conduct a job search based on blasting out hundreds of résumés a month does not constitute a viable campaign.
Point two of the article, Using a Stock Résumé, is very sound advice. Violating networking etiquette is not cool, and asking only what your network can do for you is asking for trouble. There’s no arguing against Ms. Mantell’s advice. To honestly say, “I’m doing everything right but nothing’s working” is fair and should be rewarded.
For what it’s worth, I appreciate you following through on writing targeted résumés, cover letters, and approach letters; going to the interviews prepared for the tough traditional questions and even tougher behavioral question. I’m thrilled to see your efforts on LinkedIn. Glad to link up with you when you send invites to me (even with default invitations). All of this is not for naught.
When you get a job, I’m thrilled. I don’t attribute it to my advice, because you’re the one who did the leg work and sat in the hot seat. You sent the thank you letters. Some of you came back after a short stint, while others made the temp-to-perm job a permanent one. (Pete, you still owe me a cheesecake.)
I still assert that there are proper methods to use in the job search and will continue to point them out. I will not provide the slightest window of opportunity for self-pity, as this is behavior for you to harbor and not let it surface in workshops or while networking or at an interview.
I’m fond of saying, “Hang in there” when other words escape me. So that’s what I’d like you to do. Never give up. Never question your abilities, even if you’ve been off the horse for a while now. And know that you have the support of career trainers, because our mission is to help you to find work. If you read this and feel that I feel you, drop by to say, “Hey” or send an e-mail to confirm you’ve gotten my message. Hell, tell me to jump off a cliff with my condescension. Whatever works…works.
Bob, well said. Although I’m not in a job search, I remember the days of uncertainty and fear of what would happen if I did not get employed as quickly as possible. This kind of stress can be paralyzing, which only feeds on itself as the resulting inaction perpetuates the state of mind in which you find yourself. I’ve found the best coping mechanism for such a situation is to feed from positive resources and avoid negative aspects of everyday life such as the news, but especially negative people. Your post, of course is a great example of the former.
This is something I have read often to help me stay positive and on track. http://bit.ly/IQ9td
I hear you on being around positive people and avoiding the negative ones. Negativity exists in the job search and at work. In both cases they’re counterproductive. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
Bob: Your commentary was as forthright and honest as I’ve seen. I’m grateful for your help and even more grateful for my own unrelenting efforts to stay on track and become employed again 🙂 With people like yourself and your contributions, that day will come sooner rather than later. When i do become employed again, I’m certain of one thing; Paying it forward to others that live through these circumstances will be a huge priority. I should have a great amount of experience, knowledge, successes, and failures to impart to those who seek my help.
Thank you, Chuck.
You are a hard worker who displays a very positive attitude. It’s contagious and great for the workshop attendees to be exposed to. As John said, being around positive people is constructive. You are a positive person, and you will get a job soon.
Thanks for reinforcing the faith aspect. I am also learning more about networking Etiquette…a couple times the hard way. Most of all I want to thank you for you time in teaching me about fully navigating LinkedIn.
I agree, hang in there. Thanks for the encouragement. Its very tough after close to two years looking for work now. And having just exhausted all Unemployment Payments, after 93 weeks.
Bob – excellent, well-written post (as usual) and very much appreciated. In these tough times, we all need a little HOPE–and empathy. Thanks for consistently providing both!
Thanks, Cathy. I know YOU’re trying very hard, and soon things will turn. Keep pluggin’ along.