Job Hunting Is a Full-Time Job… (Or at least, a habit-forming activity)

Some people joke that when you are jobless (or in my case, looking for a new job), it becomes a full-time job in itself. Unfortunately, in many cases, it turns out to be the truth.

I’m not 100% sure if there’s a special technique or process that you’re supposed to use when searching for job openings. Honestly, I think it just depends on the person and what makes sense to you and keeps you motivated to keep on doing it. Job hunting is very tedious and if you don’t come up with a process to use (whether it’s something you made up or heard from someone else or even enlist the assistance of a recruiter), there’s a large risk of you not continuing it. I think that to be truly successful with getting a job (and not just ANY job, mind you, but one that you really want) is to form a habit around it.

For example, I am rather partial to using Indeed.com. I’m not sure why, but I am. (Granted, the last two jobs I held were obtained through networking.) To me, I find the website useful because you can search key terms and then when you come back for a second (or third, fourth, or fifth) time, you’ll notice that the website cached your initial search and will notify you on the home page how many new job offerings are listed in those categories. Therefore, it saves me time from repeatedly searching for the same things over and over and wondering if I’ve already looked at a job post.

Another thing I do quite often is visit the career websites for particular companies that I am interested in working at. In particular, there are a few advertising/marketing firms that I’ve got my eye on, as well as some very large corporations that I admire and wish to work at. When I feel particularly despondant at not being able to find good things via search aggregators (like Indeed), I just visit the websites of those other companies and browse through their listings. Even if there’s nothing that I care for applying to, it’s still interesting to view what openings those companies DO have and in what industries.

The real reason why I think it’s important to make looking for jobs into a habit is because of having to deal with the worst thing EVER when it comes to job hunting: the waiting.

The waiting (I think) is probably the WORST thing that you have to deal with when looking for a job. In my opinion, even if you go into an interview and bomb it and know you’re not getting a job, at least there was some form of communication between you and someone else. Very rarely does a company come back to you with a “Thank you for applying but you’re not the right fit for this. Please try again later!” email. In fact, even if it did come, usually by the time it gets to your inbox, you’ve completely forgotten about that position that you applied for.

The waiting is just some large dark hole that you find yourself in and makes you become so unproductive, it’s ridiculous.

I’ve found myself sitting around from time to time, making the mistake of thinking “Oh, what if this company doesn’t offer A, B, or C?” or “If I get the offer, what should I do?” – this is an even BIGGER mistake! If I haven’t even received some form of communication from the HR Department from that company, why am I being unproductive by daydreaming about what I’d do if I got the offer?

I’m not saying you can’t relax every so often and wonder about stuff, but you can’t spend all your time doing that. In fact, once you’ve applied to one job, go out and find another one to apply to.

Just keep applying.

Even if you seem a little (or a lot!) unqualified for the position, if that’s the industry that you’re wanting to get into, go ahead. The worst thing you could do is sit back and wonder and be too afraid to even apply. Of course you won’t get the job then – they don’t even have your resume to review!

Of course, there’s other things to account for (such as cover letters – I’ll post about that later), but for the most part, the best thing you can do to help yourself get that career that you want is to just keep on going. Apply until your fingers go numb. And be patient for a reply, but don’t just sit on your butt and wait for a response and don’t do anything in the mean time.

Categories: Career, Motivation