The key to a successful job search
Although there are good signs unemployment is declining as job vacancies continue to climb, it can still be discouraging to be out of work. And the longer your job search, the greater the toll on your motivation. The key to job searching success? Resiliency. Remember that people only actually fail at something when they stop trying. Until then it’s a work in progress. The game is still in play.
If your job for the last few months has been to find a job, it is admittedly difficult to stay motivated. This is a common predicament of unemployment–losing interest after a long job search process. People do get fed up and throw in the towel. It’s happening in the U.S. and its reportedly been a concern amongst young Canadian job seekers. Sometimes you reach a point when the looking for work becomes too disappointing, and rather than continuing on this disappointing path it’s more tempting to drop out.
According to reports, this past August the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.3% to 8.1%, even though the economy added fewer jobs during that month than in July. The reason: rates “fell largely because 368,000 people stopped looking for work.”
Young Canadian job seekers have experienced a similar story. An article in the Huffington Post states “youth participation in the labour force has declined significantly in recent years, dropping by about 180,000 since September 2008.”
These drop out rates are certainly significant indicators that people are disheartened by their job prospects and search. This is where a good dose of resilience becomes important. The economy is certainly not back on track. There is no glimpse of a ‘boom’ insight, but that doesn’t mean we’re all doomed. In fact, working through these challenging times can be extremely rewarding.
It does take persistence and the ability to see beyond what’s happening now, and to continue focusing on what will happen down the road.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, the people and companies that survived the Great Recession are those that were able to be resilient in the height of change. That doesn’t mean looking at that world through rose-coloured glasses, and continually being optimistic. The review article asked management researcher and writer Jim Collins what he discovered about resiliency while writing his book Good to Great. Collins recalls that he “found the same unblinking attitude shared by executives at all the most successful companies he studies–resilient people have a very sober and down-to-earth view of those parts of reality that matter for survival.” This is key point that translates well into a job search.
It is important to be keenly aware of your own personal situation. The competition in your field, your experiences, your strengths and weakness, all this information is invaluable as you move ahead.
The point of having a staunch perspective is that it can help you to see opportunities you might not have otherwise seen. You can ask yourself if there is a job that might not be entirely what you’re looking for, but might give you experience in areas which would be beneficial to your career growth. It can also help you to be inventive and to figure out how to make do, or change latent job search habits or patterns. It might give you the freedom to do something creative with your resume, because, hey–why not?
The key to job searching in a difficult market is to find your inner resilience, look closely at reality and keep track of how you can creatively move ahead. These skills will not only help you find a job, they’ll help you keep it.