If you’ve been following me for a few months you know I was a bad job seeker. I did all the wrong things in my job search. One of my favorite posts, because I like the advice, is my What I should have done in the first 30 days post ( I share with you what my strategy/tactics were, and what they should have been).
Today I’ll go down another path – if your job search sucks, here are some things to consider:
- Step away and regroup. Seriously – go away. Or stay away (do a “staycation,” which is a vacation where you don’t go anywhere). I had serious issues with what I was doing, and got into a bad rut. The best thing I could have done was to walk away. Perhaps a camping trip (away from technology), or time with a friend, or something like that. If you are in the job search rut I recommend you get out. Remember one of the definitions of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results…
- Focus on relationships. As job seekers we like to think we focus on relationships, but I think too often we focus on relationships that can help us get to Point B. How about you lose yourself in service… just call up your contacts and ask them if there is anything you can do for them, or somehow reach out to them and find ways to serve them. Here’s an idea … if you have time (you should, if you are in a job search), spend an hour a day serving people in your neighborhood. Mow someone’s lawn. Weed a garden. Buy a tree for $30 and plant it in a neighbor’s yard (get permission first :)). Pick up trash by your house. Kill some weeds …
- Fix something at your house. I let my house go to pot during my job search… and that wasn’t good for anyone. There are plenty of things you can do around your house – it might be fixing a drawer or painting a room, cleaning the carpet or repairing a fence. You know what’s broken… try and get it resolved. My job search was so fruitless, void of “wins,” that getting something fixed (and done) would have been a nice win I needed for my morale.
- Plant some flowers in your yard (or in an indoor planter). You can spend less than $10 on this one, and it should provide beauty for you for weeks, months or years to come. A little color in our environment never hurt anyone, right? I planted some flowers around Mother’s Day and they didn’t seem to do well, but now I see them flowering daily and it is really cool Think this is too simple? If it has an impact on your attitude perhaps your networking and efforts will be more fruitful.
- Go back to school. Seriously – maybe it’s time to consider a change, or an enhancement of your skill set… and sometimes a degree (or an advanced degree, or a technical certificate) is what you really need. The widget on the right of this blog post can show you some schools you might consider.
- Change industries. Maybe you are bored, or burned-out, from your current industry. If so, stop looking for jobs in that industry – I bet you have transferable skills… right? Put them to work and think about other industries (or professions) you might be happier in.
- Quit the job search. I did. I had to. I was going nowhere looking for new employer, while I had the answer under my nose keyboard the whole time. Maybe you aren’t supposed to have a j.o.b. anymore… maybe you are supposed to own your own gig, or be a consultant, or a speaker, or a writer, or something else. Note: Quit the job search doesn’t mean you quit life, but there are other ways to make money than from an employer. Ever hear of the phrase “income security?”
I agree the economy sucks for job seekers (duh), but maybe the problem is less the economy and more your strategies and tactics… so rethinking what you are doing might be just what you need to do.
Here’s another suggestion: use job boards to get inspiration and ideas. For example, you could search for admin jobs to see the latest job openings, and read through them to get language to use on your resume, in interviews, and to find out about titles you might not have thought about before.
Have any other suggestions for when the job search plain sucks? Of course you should be using JibberJobber.com by now, to manage the admin and organizational aspect of the job search… what else do you suggest?