One of the pearls of wisdom I heard from a friend of mine in 1991 was that no one is out of work forever, it just seems that way.
When you are employed in a W-2 job, weekends and evenings are hopefully your time to relax. Snow days, holidays are also to be anticipated and enjoyed. After all, the money is still coming in whether you are at the office or not. The worst case scenario is that your work is piling up.
Once you are out of work, your whole perspective changes. The early morning hours when you are awake and can’t make any phone calls, and the evenings when you would like to catch up with someone are not useful to you.
And, worst of all, the world doesn’t seem to understand your urgency. You interview for jobs and they say they will get back to you in a few days, but they don’t. Are you supposed to pester them? Don’t they know the time is hanging heavy on your end?
The world of work we just left had a pace and timing of its own. There were monthly closes to do, quarterly reports to get out, etc. Job search has no comparable way of measuring time.
In a sense, someone who is unemployed has been sentenced to a condition with no set end date. (Sort of like the Covid-19 crisis we are in.) Sure, there are guidelines about how many months you can expect to be out of work given your salary level and years of experience, but that is not the same thing as knowing how long it will take. There actually is no mandatory waiting period. And the number of factors including how hard you work on your search are beyond computation.
If you feel that you have already been out of work too long, you’re right. Actually, anything over 15 nanoseconds is going to feel too long.
So, what’s a person to do? The first thing to do is not worry about it. Worry is an activity that doesn’t go anywhere. What you want to do is conduct a proactive campaign to get yourself back on someone’s payroll.
The primary ticket is, of course, networking, networking and more networking. For members of The FENG who are “well experienced,” there is no larger target.
If you are uncomfortable with the networking process, understand that you need to get with it. There are lots of ways to do that. The easiest way to develop this skill is to call new members. By and large, new members will talk to anyone. The best part is that there are usually 40 or more of them every week that you can call and practice on. Once you have mastered this, your style will improve and you can practice on your fellow 37,000+ other members until you get really good and are ready to challenge the “outside world.”
While job leads aren’t the be all end all that many people think they are, they are great to practice on. Look carefully at jobs you are applying for and match your resume up to ensure you are highlighting what is in demand and using current language for your skills.
The tools for your success are within you. This whole job search thing is a pain in the neck, but it is a skill you need for the rest of your career.
While it is true no one is out of work forever, it is also true that all jobs are temporary. If this is your first time out of work, look at this little adventure as an opportunity to strengthen your skills in the job search arena.
Remember, anything that doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.