Career Calling

August 7, 2013

Job Search Virtues

A client called with good news yesterday.  She landed her ideal position at a great company.  Her job search took four months, which she found a bit frustrating.  I told her not to worry about that because it’s normal, especially for someone who lands the kind of job that she wants, not one that she has to take.

This story made me think about two important virtues every successful jobs seeker needs: patience and consistency.  It might sound clichéd to call patience a virtue.  But it’s a reality that it takes time to find a good job.  While I’ve had some clients land jobs in 2-4 weeks, most job seekers will need 3-6 months to find a job.  For some people that might mean taking a job to bring in income while the job search continues.  That’s part of holding patience as a virtue.  Every job search is different.  Some will be fast and easy.  Some will be long and hard.  You need to adapt and keep faith in your talent.

You also have to be consistent.  When clients have gotten stuck in the job search, it is often because some factor has made them stop looking for work.  A good job search requires steady, constant activity: networking, identifying potential employers, responding to job posts.  As one of my friends in HR likes to say, “The job won’t find you.”  Instead, you have to keep plugging along in the face of disappointment.  My formula is to be active at least 4-5 days per week.  Hold yourself accountable by keeping a log.  If you’re not recording activities for at least 4-5 days each week, you are not being consistent in the search.  Expect a bad result.

I understand the frustration involved in looking for work.  I’ve felt it, and it hurts.  That said, if we approach this hard task with a realistic, practical outlook, we’ll be better able to put up with the frustration.  If you’re steady in applying for work and patient in waiting for good things to come, the job search will not be as miserable.  In fact, as you have more control over the process of looking for work, your phone will start to ring.

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