Job Search Hell

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 - 5 steps to employment, Any Job Will Do


Job Search Hell!

What must it be like to be in a position where there are:

  • No jobs
  • No employers calling you
  • And personal pressure pilling up around you

It must be job search hell!

Well, I you think that’s where you are, then I’ve got news for you: like the mythical fairy garden at the bottom of the garden, it doesn’t exist – except in your own mind and imagination.

Surprised? I mean, if you read the newspapers, there are (April 2012) over 2.6million people looking for jobs out there in the UK, or between 3 and 4million if you believe the Trades Union Congress. Yet, though personally I think the TUC are closer to the truth than Fleet Street, I don’t think that Job Search Hell exists except in the Job Seekers mind?

In the post entitled Job Search Timeline, I explained how the mentality and success rate of the job seeker changed, and how after 30-60days of job seeking rejection they opened there job application criteria to jobs in which they would face more competition, be less qualified for, and hence face larger rates of rejection.

In summary, job search is a process of learning by rejection.

Now, can you hence see why, when a job seeker opens their job search criteria and becomes less successful, that they conclude that they are in Job Search Hell?

I accept that I have seen and helped people in Job Search Hell. I don’t think that McDonalds jobs are the lowest of the low, but if you just do a simple search on Google, you can easily find people questioning their own capability and sanity when they can’t even get a job at McDonalds.

How have they gotten themselves into this position, and how can they escape their own Job Search Hell? I explain how they got themselves into the position in Job Search Timeline, so here lets concentrate on how to get yourself out:

  1. Go back to the basics: the first step in the 5 Steps to Employment is what have you got?
  2. Refocus on the what: the second step is what do you want to do and who is recruiting. If you can find 50 jobs, then you can get employed
  3. Get envigorated by getting connected to you: you got into a job search because you want to support your family and lifestyle. Get reacquainted with them to get your energy and focus back

In example, here is a job seeker contemplating a career change, while deep in their own Job Search Hell…

Help for Job Search Hell

Victoria asks: I would greatly appreciate your career advice for myself in regard to the following 2 questions:

1) I have a very seasoned communications, training, coaching and sales background in particular. Like many folks looking, I am finding very few jobs to even apply to, regardless of location.

If I were to consider a different career path, which would be a clever transition based on the above skills noted, what suggestions, if any, do you have for me in terms of that career path/ new job type?…

2) Due to the job market in the past couple years, have you had to choose a totally new career or career path, regardless of your age, due to the job market? How did you determine what that would be, and what has been your experience in terms of getting a new job in that field?

In Answer
Having read your LinkedIn Profile, I am some what sceptical of your conclusions that:

  • There aren’t any jobs: in London?
  • There aren’t any jobs in sales: one of the worlds biggest salesperson hiring market
  • There aren’t any jobs in HR or training: one of the worlds biggest/most populous cities
  • There’s too much competition: you have claimed sales ability, and a network in your profile across many blue chips

I think hence that the first part of the job search problem for you, is the one brought about by the process of an extended job search and resultant rejection plays on the job seekers mind in the longer (60days+) time. You need to go back to the basics, and focus on what you have got/what you want to do, and answer the question of what is your ideal/dream job? If you don’t know that, how can you:

  • Find it/apply for it
  • Tell the employer why that is the job for you

Once you fix that problem – the most difficult in job search – then you need to network to find the inside opportunities. Your claimed network of blue chip contacts versus 35 LinkedIn connections tells the old story of not having prepared a network for when you need it most. The basic level of network in LI is now above 50connections, ideally 100, if you are going to appear in a search result for someone looking to engage or hire someone like you. So once you have solved issue No.1, get networking. This should give you inside track on great positions.

Then, look and create a list of the 50 ideal companies who offer your idel job? Do some focused networking towards them. If you are as great at sales ad communications as you claim, then creating a pathway into them should not be difficult/a few days each at best.

Finally, you have a tactical issue within your LI profile. You have optimised it to look like a desperate job seeker. Every employer will question why you are so good and yet so desperate? If you know what you want to do, then focus your profile on that type of position, not on an “Any Job Will Do” position.

If after that you still think that you can not find a position, then perhaps look at career transition and career change. That is one of the few times when psych tests could be helpful in suggesting a path forward, but also check that people are actually hiring for that type of skill right now and should be in five years, or what is the point of the expenditure in time/college fee’s?

If you think I could help, happy to chat – Good Luck!
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One Response to “Job Search Hell”

  1. Michael Varley Says:

    Most of the time, we create job search hell ourselves without even realising it. It is important to network as soon as you get in to job search. While LinkedIn is a great tool, one shouldn’t limit themselves only to that. It also pays to get in touch with former colleagues, bosses etc. but not to talk about job opportunities, just socialise. While socialising you can inquire about any opportunities. Point here is to not look desperate. There are plenty of jobs within UK and Europe as well. So be prepared and don’t give up. All the best!

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