I’m starting to obsess over my impending job search. School ends May 4 and then, that’s it, I’m unemployed. My obsession is growing even more acute because I’ve been in this situation before…flashback to the Spring of 2006 as a senior at Bucknell. I don’t think I slept at all from January to May which may or may not be directly correlated to increased boxed wine sales in Lewisburg, PA during the same time.
My job search then was hard and I hated every minute of it. Thank you to University Research Company who finally put an end to my misery and gave me a great job – which led to an even greater job at Abt Associates – where I traveled the world and learned to use terms like “capacity building” and “governance“.
But stupid me decided to leave Abt and my trips to Africa to pursue a new career path: public relations. I’m actually very happy with my decision, but not so happy to look for jobs again. And the web is not helping. All I’ve been reading on the various job hunting websites and blogs is how horrible looking for jobs is, how depressed and sad and worthless job searching makes you feel, and how it is incredibly competitive and next-to-impossible it is to land a good PR job anywhere on this planet.
Here’s a fun quote from applicant.com that sums it up nicely:
There’s a term for people who enjoy the thrill of the job search: happily employed. For the rest of us, looking for a job ranks right up there on the list of things to avoid alongside root canals, traffic jams, and the plague. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, or stuck on your couch watching Oprah, it’s probably because you prefer your current state of misery to the pain of job hunting. Few things in life have the power to discourage you quite like being rejected or ignored by an employer you don’t really want to work for in the first place.
Man. I think I’m going to go watch Animal Planet and eat some Ben and Jerry’s, this sounds hopeless. But no! As a now “seasoned” public communication student (1 semester deep) I will try to take the job search crisis and turn it into something great. The job search is now fun and exciting! Let’s stop using negative words like “misery”, “pain” and “discourage” and start using some positive spin like “new beginnings”, “thrill of the chase,” and “rewarding.” I feel better already. I can’t wait to get started!
Here are 5 positive things that can happen while looking for jobs:
1. Social media experience? Check. After months on the job search you’ve mastered Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other social networking site on the web to the find jobs and gain contacts. You definitely know how to work the networks to find what you are looking for (jobs), meet people who can help you, and sell your product (yourself).
2. The longer you are out of work, the more you want to work, and the ever more grateful you will be when you do get a job. This will delay the inevitable “Ugh, my job sucks” blues by at least 6 months. Those menial tasks (ahem! expense reports) will the most exciting work you’ve ever done. The work days will fly!
3. You are your own boss. Most people complain at some point or another about the person they work for. But now, you answer to no one but yourself (except maybe to your mom). As your own personal “job search” business you need to set goals, schedules and budgets for yourself – all skills that I imagine most companies like seeing. Stay organized, focused and positive as you look for jobs, and when you land the interview, say a great accomplishment of yours is getting that interview!
4. Make it a game. You against the job search. Submit 50 resumes online = 50 points for you. Hear back from no one = – 50 for you, + 50 for the job search. Follow up incessantly ( but respectfully) with the company you really want to work for = +25 for you. Get interview = +100 for you. Find out they picked someone else = +1,000 for job search. And so on and so forth. Bottom line, do not let that stupid job search win!!! Keep going and give yourself some recognition when things happen in your favor. Games are fun!
5. You can always start a blog about your job search experience. If other job searchers are like me, then we obsess and try to read every blog we can about how to get that perfect job. Always remember that the longer your search drags on, the more job search experience you get and the more content you’ll have for your blog.
So, here I go jumping happily into the applicant pool (cannonball of course). Please hire me :)