Fed Up With Looking For A Job?
Have you been looking for a job for a while? Have you sent out dozens of resumés and heard NOTHING back? Have you talked to recruiters who told you that you weren’t qualified even though you had way more education, but you didn’t have an obscure certification that was listed in the job description? Have you had one conversation with a recruiter or a company HR person who said they’d get right back to you and then NOTHING? Are you getting mad about it? Are you feeling discouraged? Are you beginning to think that you’ll never find anything?
All of the above?
The bad news — you are not alone. In fact, there are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of others. The good news–there are ways to crack the code of this. The most important thing is to keep a positive attitude. The hardest thing, and most important, is keeping up your energy, your determination and your commitment. The hardest part is to ignore all the ‘NOTHING’s and treat each new attempt as if it is the first one. It is hard, also, to keep learning from the negative experiences, while you keep approaching each application with as much optimism and energy as you did the first one.
The things that you tell yourself when you get discouraged–that YOU’LL never find something, that there is something wrong with YOU, that it’s hopeless–ARE NOT TRUE.
We have a very difficult confluence of a lot of things happening at once that are making this worse:
- companies are not hiring
- recruiters are able to find enough people without being mindful about how they treat people (and I’m really being diplomatic about that!)
- companies use software to ‘weed’ out resumes that don’t have all the keywords–even when the keywords aren’t relevant
- older people are not leaving the workforce because their retirement funds evaporated
- so many jobs are moving around the globe
- etc., etc., etc.
And so it’s easy not to be optimistic. I get it. It’s hard to keep trying. It’s not fun. It’s SO frustrating when you hear nothing back. It’s SO frustrating when you find a job that is just right for you and you apply and NOTHING. Even though there are people who find a job quickly, most don’t. Almost everyone gets discouraged before they hit pay dirt. The lucky ones, though, can get past being discouraged.
You have to figure out how to keep your energy, commitment, optimism, and determination up. That is way more important than making sure your resumé is perfect. Because if you have your optimism and your energy, then you can fix your resume over and over. You can keep getting yourself out there to network. You can ignore how much you hate working with recruiters because of the stupid things they say and talk to THIS one as if she’ll be different.
How Do You Do That?
- Find someone (or a few someones) to talk to. You need someone who can pump you up on a regular basis. When you talk to yourself in the vacuum of your own thoughts, you are not as objective as you need to be. There are techniques that you need to use to find a job, and you need someone to remind you when you lose sight of them. There are lessons, strategies and tactics to finding a job and you need to be reminded of them regularly.
- Remember that the number of rejections that you get is irrelevant–the number of acceptances is what is important. In order to get acceptances, you have to crack the code. In order to crack the code, you have to keep learning and refining your tactics. In order to do that, you have to keep applying. In order to do that, you have to keep your energy and determination up.
- Network. Socializing (even for you introverts) helps you have a different perspective. It gets you out of your head. If you’re going to socialize, you might as well network. I don’t mean going out to a networking event. I mean going to a social event, or spending some time online on a social networking site, reconnecting/connecting and finding out what people are doing. And telling people that you’re looking for a job. And telling people what kind of a job you’re looking for. And asking people if they know anyone they think would be good for you to approach for an informational interview.
- Don’t take it personally. Hard, I know. It isn’t personal, though. Chances are really good that your resumé never got in front of anyone who could make a decision about it. Chances are that the selection software looking for keywords weeded you out, or the recruiter (who rarely understands the industry, company, job or requirements thoroughly) weeded you out, or your resume was #402 and they cut off at #400. Any of those things are not about you. You still have to surmount them, though. You just shouldn’t take it personally, because it isn’t.
- Think about it like a puzzle. Is it the resumé? Is it the cover letter? Is it that you need to hit it as soon as the job is posted–yes, at 4:14 am? Is it that you need to find someone in the company? Is it that need to follow up better? Keep trying things until you crack the code.
Some Good Books That Might Help:
- HeadStrong, The Keys to a Confident and Positive Attitude by Tim Tyrell-Smith
- Cracking the Hidden Job Market, How to Find Opportunity in Any Economy by Don Asher
- Unlock the Hidden Job Market: 6 Steps to a Successful Job Search When Times Are Tough by Duncan Mathison and Martha Finney
2 responses to “Fed Up With Looking For a Job?”
Great article and sound advice. You hit the nail on the head with ‘keep positive’ – that’s the most important thing.
Thanks, Ben. It’s so hard to remember to keep positive, though!