Beginnings, middles and ends

Published on May 13, 2024 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Being Out of Work

I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes the job search process so maddening and one of the many conclusions I have come to is its lack of structure. (Someone should really redesign it!)

Unlike all of the other projects we may have in our career as financial folks, this one may have a beginning and it may have an end, but it is the middle that makes us crazy. Hard to know at any point in time where exactly you are on the continuum. You know you have started when you begin your job search either because you have been terminated or know you will be soon. And, you know when you have ended, because you have a job offer in hand. But that middle part is sure problematic.

Okay, you have rewritten your resume. And, rewritten it again. You have called everyone you know, chatted with them and gotten additional networking contacts which you have in turn chatted with and in turn have gotten even more networking contacts.

You have even identified the types of job leads to answer and have been diligently doing that.

But, are you at the halfway point yet? No one knows, not even you.

Job search doesn’t have a timeline, but it does have a process. And although your progress along the timeline may not be clear, your knowledge and experiences in the process ARE reasonably clear.

What you need to do is think of a job search as acquiring a body of knowledge that you will be using the rest of your career. To think of it as a one time activity is a mistake. As any long standing member of The FENG will tell you, ALL JOBS ARE TEMPORARY. Just look at your own resume. What is perhaps a disheartening aspect of job search today is the assurance that you will have to do it again, and probably not too far in the future.

Okay, we’re tough (and getting tougher) and we can handle ideas that most folks would prefer not to consider. Like accounting or any other science/art form, there are a whole series of skills you need to acquire and hone if you are going to be successful over the balance of your career.

It therefore almost (except for our need for money) doesn’t really matter where you are on the “time/space continuum” of your search.

It is important to understand that this thing we call job search has no visible timeline. Perhaps then we can “get on with it” without the feelings of defeat we visit upon ourselves.

Measuring your progress only in terms of the end result of finding a job is too high a standard. Measure your activities: calls made, letters written, etc.

It may not be as impressive as being able to brag about a huge job offer, but it will have to do.

Regards, Matt