When your executive job search starts to drag on and take longer than expected, you can quickly go from motivated to demotivated very quickly. Some people turn into a job search machine and crank out dozens or hundreds of resumes in a short period of time and even on an ongoing basis and feel like they’re accomplishing something but when they don’t get the results they’re looking for, it can get you down and make you depressed.
These days you walk a fine line between not doing enough and doing a lot of nothing when it comes to job searching. You obviously need some quantity but quality also matters.
A friend of mine is currently unemployed and looking for a job and is in the second round of interviews with a company that he’s hoping will pan out. My friend is a good example of someone whose executive job search has dragged on longer than he expected and in many respects he’s done a lot of things right in terms of trying to find a new job. He has just found things taking longer than he’d hoped.
My friend hasn’t worked in several months after getting laid off so he’s at the point of being bored and a bit depressed especially with the inevitable December slowdown that tends to occur. Even though hiring still does occur in December as I’ve mentioned in the past, the holidays do slow things down and can kill the momentum that you feel you’ve built up and I think my friend is feeling this right now.
He’s essentially banking on this job working out – he does have a few other jobs that he’s hoping to interview for – but if he doesn’t get a job offer for this job he’s currently interviewing for, I know he’s going to be really disappointed. Most likely it will mean he’ll be out of work for the remainder of the year at least which I know he’s thinking about.
One of the things that he did right – and admittedly he’s single so he does have this luxury – is that he began looking for jobs outside his current geographic area several weeks after he was laid off. When he got laid off he started looking for local jobs as his preference is to remain in the city he’s currently in. He did however realize that there are opportunities elsewhere and so he quickly extended his search outside his city, his state and even outside the country.
Again, he’s able to do this because he’s a single guy and perhaps your situation doesn’t make this an easy decision but it does illustrate one thing: he didn’t stick with one thing that wasn’t working and keep trying to do the same thing over and over again. He recognized that he might have to look beyond his comfort area and as a result he has uncovered a few opportunities that he wouldn’t have otherwise have known about.
Further, it helped to show him that people are hiring. When your jobs search slows down and you’re not progressing, your first thought is to start believing that no one is hiring which can make you even more depressed and slow things down even more. My friend widened his initial job search, started speaking with people in distant companies, realized that people are hiring and started to get more motivated and positive about his search when he realized the options that he has.
Bailout My Career provides information for executive job seekers, with topics on interviewing, job search, and career development.