Author: Kim Zastrow
Have you sent out resume after resume, hoping for an interview?
Have you waited weeks after interviewing with no companies responding?
Waiting is never easy, especially the longer it goes without landing a new job. So, what can you do you do if the job search is lasting longer than you anticipated? Here’s how to stay productive and positive
Productive—yielding results, benefits, or profits
Let’s start with the positive part. Would you want to hire Sad-Faced Stacey for your team? How do you stay positive in the face of no apparent results?
Job Search Schedule
You may have heard it said that “the search is the job.”
While it may seem convenient, you can’t just sit back and post your resume to job boards every week until you hear back for an interview. You may decide that you’ll work on posting your resume 8 hours a day. But how sustainable is that for 2 weeks? Or 3 months? Professor Paula Kliger Ph.D. recommends a 5-day diversified schedule of networking online for an hour each morning; networking in person for two hours midday; and searching job databases for two hours in the afternoon. Being productive and taking control of your career requires going outside your comfort zone to try new things. One career coach commented that, “70% of people are landing their dream jobs through networking, so the best thing you can do is move away from the computer and engage in the real world”. You will likely find that by being involved in volunteer work or community events you will meet people and make connections that you never would have online. While the web has its advantages, nothing compares to the face-to-face conversations and relationships you form by getting out and meeting people.
Volunteering is one way to network in the real world.
Additionally, potential employers will see you as a giving and unselfish person, qualities that are highly desirable in a team environment! Volunteering also will boost your morale by providing you with association that you may be lacking by cutting back on entertainment outings with friends. You can then document these volunteer efforts on your LinkedIn profile under the “Volunteer Experience” section.
Previously, you might not have been able to squeeze an exercise routine into your busy work schedule. Now’s the time to incorporate that. Not only will it boost your mental health, but also, you’ll develop a healthy pattern you won’t want to drop once you land your next job. And, you’ll have better posture which projects confidence at the next interview.
Graduation doesn’t mean your skill development has stopped.
You eat in order to keep your body nourished, and you learn in order to keep your mind nourished. Expanding your knowledge and your skills, either in your current area of expertise or in a new area, will open up new doors to job opportunities and widen your search options. It also has the immediate rewarding effect of accomplishment, a feeling you may be void of during a prolonged job search.
“The power of progress is fundamental to human nature.”
— Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School Professor
There are numerous free, or low-cost options for continuing education. Sources are online, at the local community college, or even through language-learning apps. Samantha had been an archaeologist for 15 years when she suddenly found herself in a desperate search for work. As the days turned into weeks, she knew she had to do something to keep her mind sharp. She decided to learn Spanish in between sending out resumes and going to various networking events. By learning a new language, this expanded her opportunities and paved the way for landing a job that would have been previously inaccessible in a foreign country.
In regards to continuing your education, it is common for a hiring manager to ask what books you are currently reading. You can check out books from the library or read top sellers from Amazon. Bear in mind that if you are an out-of-work payroll specialist, stating that you’re reading People magazine will not impress your interviewer as much as the journals New Accountant or Accountancy Today. Books and trade journals will help boost your knowledge and confidence and help you stay abreast of trends in your industry while you are awaiting your new position.
Recruiting & Staffing Firms
Before you think this is a self-seeking pitch from the author, consider this.
For starters, if you are flexible enough, a reputable recruiting and staffing firm can support you by polishing up your resume, preparing you for the interview, and potentially drawing out skills you may have been unaware that you possess.
More importantly, recruiting and staffing firms have far more business relationships than you will ever hope to generate on your own. While you are experiencing a temporary stage of being out of work, their occupation is entirely devoted to this phase of life! In other words, their world is the world of fixing unemployment. And, you don’t have to pay for their expertise! They make their money from corporations who trust their talent for finding the right person for the right position. They have literally thousands of connections and inside information.
For example, Operations Toolbox was contracted to find a Mechanical Design Engineer (MDE) for a large packaging corporation. Our MDE candidate had demonstrated his experience in modifying original equipment. Our client company was looking for just such an MDE so as to be able to deliver custom packages for customers. We shared this knowledge with our qualified candidate, and our candidate landed the position! An understanding of the client’s need was crucial to the candidate’s interview presentation and employment.
At our agencies, VITESSE and Operations Toolbox, more than 65% of our job orders are temp-to-hire in part due to our thorough pre-employment screening services and talent ready pool. It is very common that our client companies will offer our associates regular, full-time positions after the initial contract hours have been satisfied. For more information and Google reviews from highly-satisfied candidates in career positions, please visit our website. So, give a reputable recruiting and staffing firm an opportunity to enhance your jor search; you will no doubt be pleasantly surprised and greatly relieved at the results!
In conclusion, when you treat your job search like you would a regular job and create a good daily routine for yourself, it will keep you positive and productive. Teresa Amabile, mentioned earlier, noted “Persistence and positivity are the key to a successful job search – and success isn’t just about the end result.”
Although the job search may be long and more difficult than you anticipated don’t give up! You might be surprised at the possibilities that arise from expanding your horizons through additional training and networking new connections. When you choose to view these daily achievements as something positive, it will keep your routine going, and before long the job search will be over.