Looking for Work is Hard Work
Don’t listen too closely to pessimists. Even when the job market is lousy, there are always jobs. You just need to find them. People move. People are promoted. People retire. And so there ARE job openings.
On the other hand, don’t expect a job to fall out of the sky and land at your feet. Looking for work can be hard. If you are unemployed, you should devote at least twenty hours a week to your search. That includes research, visiting companies, sending resumes, reading job listings, interviewing, and anything else you can think of that might help you get the job you want.
Most people overestimate the amount of time they really spend job hunting, because the hunt can be frustrating, and rejection is painful
It’s easy to read job postings online, and send your resume by email. You may know, somewhere in your heart, that most job openings aren’t listed online. But it’s so easy. And you get a sense of accomplishment, just by clicking send. ‘Well,’ you say, ‘I applied for ten jobs today. That’s pretty good. ’ And it only took an hour! Sometimes this approach works; maybe it will work for you. But if you are serious about your job search and can’t wait forever and especially if you are NOT in a hi-tech profession, you need to expand your search.
Now you have a list of interests, and a list of skills. What patterns do you see? What combinations are possible? You have more freedom than you think. In a world where there are professional ice cream tasters—many things are improbable but few things are impossible. Ask a friend to look over your lists and help you brainstorm careers. And get specific. You want to be an opera director. You want to teach tai chi. You want to be a dental hygienist. You want to own a bookstore. Research the profession you’re interested in. Make sure you’re interested in the actual job, and not just the job title. Vault. com has an excellent collection of ‘A Day in the Life’ articles, explaining what people do all day in a variety of professions, ranging from book editor to attorney to brand manager. And talk to people. If you want to be a dental hygienist, talk to your dental hygienist. If you need to, schedule an ‘informational interview’ with a tai chi teacher over lunch. If you feel that you can’t get advice from a local bookstore owner, (since you will soon be the competition), drive to another city and talk to someone there. And don’t keep researching forever. Take the next step. If you need training or certification, sign up for a course or even a degree. If you’re ready to work, start looking for a job.