You may want to quit your job search, but what happens when you actually do?
The job search isn’t easy. It’s the internet equivalent of cold calling: knocking on doors and hoping someone is interested in your product. Except the product is you. Every time you fail to get an interview or don’t make it to the next round, it can feel like a personal insult.
All of that makes it tempting to quit—to stop searching for a while and dig into your savings, maybe get started on a few hobbies. If you can afford it, that’s fine! However, if the job search turns into months that turn into years, you might have a problem.
Here are some other things to consider before giving up the job search.
You Need Money and Purpose
This is the most obvious reason, but we felt it warranted mentioning anyway. If you stop looking for a job, you can’t find employment or collect unemployment.
You may plan on using the time to pursue other interests or hobbies. However, if you do decide to do this, plan things out far in advance. How long can you afford to live off of savings? Is this pursuit worth having a gap on your resume? Will you be able to explain that gap in future interviews?
Mooching off of family members or friends isn’t a good plan, especially if you’re not looking for a job. Any time spent out of the job search is time not spent furthering your career. It might seem fun at first, but once the money runs out, what will you have to show for it?
Your Skills and Personality Are Valuable
According to a September USA today article, “[since] employers [are] struggling to find workers in an ever-tightening labor market, many are hiring job candidates for both white- and blue-collar jobs who lack skills or experience deemed essential just a few years ago.”
What does that mean for you as a job seeker? It turns out that all those jobs you avoided applying for because of their lofty qualifications might actually be a good fit for you. As noted by the author, Paul Davidson, “candidates with some rough edges are becoming more attractive because employers have little choice. The low, 4.4% unemployment rate means there are few uncommitted workers. There was a record 6.2 million job openings in July, the Labor Department said [the week of 9/11/17]. And nearly half of about 2,000 companies said they couldn’t find qualified candidates for their job openings this year, up from 41% in 2016, according to a CareerBuilder survey.”
If you stop looking for work due to frustration with the process, you won’t end up applying for these jobs. The economy is close to full employment, with unemployment just under 5%. There’s always some amount of unemployment due to people switching jobs, and right now that makes up the majority of the statistic.
This means there are more open jobs than candidates to fill those positions. As noted in the USA Today article, employers are willing to take on employees they can train and bring to the level needed to do the job. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to apply.
Change Your Perspective
If the traditional job search isn’t working out, consider job searching differently instead of giving up entirely. If you’re tired of spending hours filling out online applications, try spending more time networking. Join civic groups (volunteer groups) or professional organizations.
But don’t start out by asking every person you meet for a job. Get to know them, and build a relationship organically. Become friends. After that, you can mention that you’re looking for a job.
Try to think about the job search differently. Keep things interesting. Remember how employers are now accepting applicants with “rough edges?” Realize that being hired for jobs like that might mean taking a pay cut. You may also want to consider a change of industry or types of jobs you haven’t worked before. Look at your skills and figure out which ones are transferable.
How do you keep up with the job search? Let us know in the comments below!