Solving Job Search Depression

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 - career coaching, career management, career planning, career transition, CV Help, job search, job seeking

Solving Job Search Depression

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In this economy at present, it is a common situation amongst job seekers: getting depressed due to the lack of results in their job search.

We shouldn’t be surprised that many do get depression during their extended job search, but what does surprise me is that when I talk through their job search strategy, is that what they all have in common is that:

  1. They keep following the same old well trodden lines, and yet still expect employment results
  2. They haven’t checked if the job they seek is available within their geographic search area (you want at least 20 jobs in your funnel)
  3. They have not made contact with their target job community, and just rely on Job Boards
  4. None of them are measuring their job search statistics, and hence don’t know what is and is not working

Here is a typical graduate job search story:
Ali, an unemployed law graduate, asks: I’m depressed, because I cannot find a job no matter how hard I try: t is so frustrating! I have a degree in law, but at the moment I am not looking to do my LPC or BVC due to funding. I just wish someone would give me a chance, iI’d love to be involved with something within family law or criminal law based. I haven’t ever had a paid job before because I wanted to focus on my studies. Therefore I opted to work voluntarily as it gives me flexibility, but this flexibility doesn’t pay off when i mention it on my CV. Now I’m stuck for money, and this situation is really getting me down. I just don’t know what to do now. Thanks!

In answer:
I am sorry to hear about your situation. Can you answer three questions for me:

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
  2. Why will you be there, how will it feel?
  3. What cost are you prepared to pay now to get that vision? I am not talking money here…..

The problem in your lack of success so far is probably in one of two areas:

  • A. The jobs you are applying for (if they exist, at present)
  • B. Your CV

Does your target job exist?

Go to one of the big specialist legal websites – something like or – and see if the job your require exists at present. Keep extending your search geography (accepting that you’d have to move) until there are at least 20 jobs listed in your search. If you can’t find 20 nationally (let alone within your preferred geography), then you may need to move your vision.

Measure your Job Search

Now you know the target job exists, measure your job search statistics. Less than 1 interview in 20 job applications, the problem is in your CV: get it reviewed, we provide a complimentary Professional CV Review Service.

Become a Job Search insider

Alongside your traditional job application task, you need to get engaged with your target employment community. For instance:

  • Professional society – have you joined the local chapter of the law society, and do you attend all of their meetings?
  • Contacts – do you know the name of the heads of departments of the family and criminal sections of the local large law practises? How many of those people have you met?
  • Insiders – where do those practises hire their temp secretaries and receptionists from?

I am sure that where ever you live, that at least one local law practise will have one temp position open, and that if you get on with the head of department that they will take you on as a trainee once a position opens – that strategy works every time, I have taught people how to do this.

Have a vision

The number one failure of most job seekers is that they don’t have a clear enough vision of what they want to do. You (seem) to, so your next action is to figure out if your ideal job exists; and then if so simply paying a price in this economy of getting momentum into your desired path. Honestly, if you want to be a lawyer, being on the inside quicker is a better price to pay over being on the outside – you will never make your vision in that system.

If you think we can help you further, please just ask – and Good Luck!

Ali’s response: Thank you very thorough answer! I will attempt the approaches you suggested!


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