Urgency and Accountability in Your Job Search

 Over the last few years, since the financial crisis, news stories often swing to the jobless rate and the difficulty in finding jobs. These stories, to my mind, inspire not hope and a sense of urgency, but despair and a sense of doom.

"What's the use?" must be the question that echoes across states and provinces.

So counterproductive. It makes no sense to me to spread inertia and helplessness. I wish that the stories were at least balanced with a few career-related, hope inspiring, job search success stories.

A quick "google" search revealed that the typical job search takes 7 to 8 months. But with proper documents and a targeted effort, you can cut this down (although this depends on your geographic area, whether you have particularly challenging circumstances, and how saturated your market is).

Truly the job search is Your responsibility and with a sense of urgency and accountability, you can project manage this task more effectively.

Here are a few tips on avoiding a sense of hopelessness:

1. Don't make excuses. Blaming it on the economy, the government, the "times," or heck, even your mother in law won't serve you well. Do yourself a favour and skip the excuses - just don't go there.

2. Avoid asking too many people their opinions on your resume, the need for a cover letter, the point of filling in applications ... follow your instincts instead, and play the game. For each person who thinks your resume is fine you'll find another who says it stinks! If you do want opinions you can trust, look for an expert, not a friend, neighbour, fellow job hunter etc. Good old mom may know a lot of things, but unless she is a recruiter, she is unlikely to provide useful advice about your resume, although I'd listen to her advice to persevere!

3. Get over your fear or dislike of networking, researching at the library, taking your fate into your own hands. You simply must do some of these. Yes, follow your instincts, but even listening to "gut feelings" doesn't absolve you of picking up a new skill or reading a great job search book (try Tony Beshara's Job Search Solution - tough love for the job hunter!).

The success of the job search, even with the help of a book, an industry expert, or a job search club, is still in Your hands. It is up to you, plain and simple.

My clients land interviews and jobs - some within mere weeks and others, facing challenges such as a saturated market or ageism for example, have taken longer. But they do land jobs. There are jobs out there.

Recent statistics showed that there were three job hunters for every job. Admittedly the odds are not great. BUT, why can't You be one of the one in three who lands the job? It does go to someone and with proper preparation and a good strategy, there is no reason why you cannot be the one who lands the next one.

I am always hopeful and I hope that I've spread it around a bit. Remember though, that hope is great, but it's not an action plan.

- firmly committed to the premise that everyone deserves meaningful work, Stephanie