Series 3-Anticipate the length of Job Search
While you have no crystal ball to tell you how long it will take to find your next job, you still need to anticipate the weeks and months ahead. Some factors go into figuring this out. State of economy, laborer job vs. management job, weather you are searching in the same field or making a career change. Research has it that it takes one month for every $10,000 of income to find a new position. For management and professional level jobs may take 3-6 months.
First things first-financials.
If you don’t have a budget, now is a good time to start. I’m not saying to deprive yourself of everything, but you need to figure out how long can you go before there is no money. . Write a budget of essential living expenses. Review your financial resources severance, savings, spouse’s earning. And retirement plan only if needed.
For future reference, the rule of thumb is to save at least six months of salary in the event of a job loss. It’s difficult to do, but you will be thankful that you did.
Remember Step #1?
Remember I said to know what you want? Well, the clearer you are about what job you want or the company you want to work for the shorter your job search.
Other Contributing Factors
If you are staying in the same field, you already know the industry and the players. Plus you probably have a network established. This will shorten your job search.
On the other hand, if you are changing careers you’ll need to rely on the backdoor opportunities, and you’ll require more coaching time to clarify your goals.
Networking of contacts.
The size of your network may shorten the job search. Marketability of your skills
Do you have the current skills employers are looking for, is there a demand for what you have to offer.The more demand the shorter the job search. Companies that have downsized, eliminated certain functions indicate that the workers may be outmoded in today’s workplace.
Geographics may impact the length of your job search.
I had a client that was extremely negative. One day on a call I just let her vent for 15 minutes. When I was finally given the opportunity to speak I told her my observation. The tone of her voice, the language she used were negative. A negative attitude will spill over in your interview. If you go into an interview pessimistic, unenthusatic and even introverted versus extroverted will be noticed by the interviewer. This will add time to your job search. Don’t talk about how bad your prior coworkers were or how mistreated you felt.
You need an active support group. As I mentioned, I was laid off around the holidays. Which meant family visits etc. and what was I going to tell them all. Prepare yourself for the questions. You don’t want to lie, but you don’t want to appear the world has collapsed.
Be honest. “XYZ company had to layoff % of workers. Unfortantely. I’m one of them. I’ve already started putting together a plan of action. Clarifing what my next step is. If you hear of anything in this field, let me know. I appreciate it.”
Draw close to the people you know will give you encouragement during this emotional roller coaster.
Amount of effort and commitment.
When you are unemployed, your job search is your job. Don’t lay in bed till noon. Continue with your same routine. Or let yourself sleep an extra half hour. If you set a schedule and work on your job search 4 to six hours everyday, putting that kind of effort in you will fall in the three to six month length of time.
The first time I was laid off, I told myself I would have a job in six weeks. Marked it on my calendar the start date of my new job.
I scheduled a specific number of phone calls per day, number of resumes per week, number of network call and meetings per week. I miscalculated my target date by two days.
How do you prepare for the length of your job search? Accept what it is and plan for “the worst case” scenario.