Suppose you meet a job seeker whose frustration is nearly a month old. You ask the cause of his consternation, and he responds with a familiar lament: “My job search is going nowhere.”
From the looks of the guy, he has been diligent in his pursuit of employment, so you ask incredulously, “You mean you haven’t found a single job opening you would consider applying for?”
The guy stares at you, as though he was trying to read something on your face. You’ve clearly asked the wrong thing, but he answers anyway.
“The truth is, I’ve got a notebook at home that’s full of promising-and open-positions.” He pauses, then goes on emphatically: “And I’ve applied for most of them. Sent in my résumé, which I spent $250 on, and even called to confirm that they had received it. I’ve been following up ever since, just to see how everything is going. I get the same thing every time, ’We’ll get back to you when we make our decision.’”
You say nothing because you simply don’t know what it’s like to have your career off the hook indefinitely.
As if to break the uncomfortable silence, he says, “I haven’t gotten a single offer yet. I mean, I’ve only been at it for three-and-a-half-weeks, but come on! I know I’m qualified to fill these positions. My job search isn’t leading anywhere, like it’s in a holding pattern. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”
What do you say?
This guy isn’t getting what he wants out of his job search because he isn’t getting what he needs from it. He needs interviews to obtain job offers. Here’s your advice: If your job search is coming up “empty,” it’s because you aren’t getting interviews. You need to try different search methods until you find one that works for you. You’ll know it when you start landing interview opportunities.
Does this mean that the job search is hit-or-miss? Is your best strategy just to try different strategies until you find one that works? Should “luck” be how you find a job?