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Put off the job search till things get better?

I could make this a very short blog this week by writing “Are you INSANE?” and leave it at that. But let’s try to figure out why all those Internet pundits who get paid to write Human Resource/recruitment/life coaching articles based on common sense seem to have lost theirs.
Here are the arguments for holding off. You might already have seen rubbish articles on the Internet along these lines.

  1. You’re tired out from looking, and just feel stale. It’s a jungle out there. Take a break.
  2. The economy will be a lot better by 2013. (Depends who becomes President, doesn’t it, everyone? Let’s not GO there or this will become a very different sort of blog.)
  3. You might want to reconsider the type of jobs/career you’re been applying for. Perhaps your specialty, blacksmith, isn’t as hot as it once was and there just aren’t enough shoe-less horses around for all of you. Perhaps it’s a good time for you to be looking at new options. “Do you know, I’ve always wanted to be a chef. All these NY1 advertisements for the Culinary Institute make it look dam’ enticing.”
  4. It’s near Holiday time (it’s always near Holiday time – summer, Thanksgiving, and as for Christmas and New Year – puh-leeze). Might as well wait till after the Holiday season.
  5. You could usefully take a break to finish all the chores that don’t get done when you’re working. You’re getting unemployment which helps a bit, so let’s go for it and paint the outside of the house.

Now, there may indeed be reasons you need to take a break. Some aren’t funny, and I’m not going to be my usual facetious self about them e.g. caring for sick relatives. But that’s not really your choice, it’s an obligation /emergency that has to be addressed. For the most part, though, it’s a choice to take a break (ok, your cousin who lives in Aruba says you should visit her for a month. TOTALLY acceptable. In fact, ask if a Scottish blog writer can come along with you). I am however of the opinion that your choice should be not to stop looking.

  • People leave jobs throughout the year, so although the market may slow down in e.g. vacation season, it never actually grinds to a complete standstill. (That may change depending on who gets elected President. Oh, that’s right, we shouldn’t GO there). There are lots of jobs out there, but not as many as there should be, so don’t waste opportunities by not applying e.g. at all in August.
  •  If you’re tired of looking on the Internet, sending out a gazillion resumes and getting nowhere, don’t do it 40 hours a week. The numbers of jobs got through advertising in the papers and the Internet is something like 10% (don’t quote me, research varies), so try not to spend more than 10% of job-hunting time on the Internet.
  • Take time off to go for walks, grocery shopping, whatever. Try networking and chatting to old bosses, friends, people you know through the church. Networking can lead to jobs.
  •  Try a few staffing firms. Too many will drive you doolally, but just using one won’t get you access to all the jobs. I hated to write that last phrase but it’s true. Of course, Merit gets loads of jobs and they’re all great! They’ll let you know what the market is like too, so you can focus your energies more effectively.

Maybe there’s another blog article worth writing about HOW to handle your search without burning out. This one is just saying, don’t take too much time off if you can help it. Every month can add a few more unemployed souls who could become your competition.