Fuel your job search with a goal and a sense of urgency
If the last bus was leaving in two minutes and you were still contemplating where you were going, how long would it take you to make a decision whether to get on that bus? If you did get on the bus, what’s the likelihood you would be on the right bus headed in the right direction? It seems to me that most people would no sooner jump on a bus without a destination in mind than drive with their eyes closed. Why, then, do people engage in a job search without a target or a plan, and without a sense of urgency, expecting the outcome to miraculously meet all of their needs?
There are two issues I typically run across when someone comes to me for help with a stalled or unsuccessful search: They don’t have a plan and they have been relying solely on job postings to determine where they will work. Often they’ve also waited until they are on their last dime to hunt for work, and for them, it is miles beyond the last bus stop. Looking for work without a plan or being lackadaisical about your approach can extend the length of your search unnecessarily. A passive approach and a lack of urgency can lead people off track.
The “any job will do” notion has outlived its time. What you do for work has to be attached to your values and your life goals. Finding satisfying work that meets all of your needs requires a strategy and a plan, along with considerably more information than what may appear in a job posting.
Applying for posted jobs may lead to an interview, but without a solid understanding of the employer’s needs and a plausible story for why you want to work there, the interview is not likely to lead to an offer. Even if the interview does result in an offer of employment, it can just as easily lead to a new misery. Without context for the role and knowledge of the circumstances — e.g., company dynamics, internal politics, unspoken expectations or difficult personalities— the candidate could be walking into a snake pit.
An improved economy does not necessarily mean that everyone can be employed in their dream jobs or that getting a great job is easy. It takes a goal, a plan, a commitment to working the plan and a sense of urgency to come close to finding the “perfect” job. It also takes resiliency to weather the disappointments that can arise and flexibility to adjust your plan when it isn’t working.
An improved economy does not necessarily mean that everyone can be employed in their dream jobs or that getting a great job is easy.
Blaming the economy or job market for your unemployment or passively waiting around for your ideal job to materialize won’t change anything. Changing your approach can make a big difference in the results you get.