Quit the Job Search?

Thom Singer wrote a post titled 100% Of Those Who Give Up During A Job Search Do Not Find Jobs.

The problem with Thom Singer is he reaches into my brain and steals the post I was going to write, and writes it a few days before I do :p

Actually, I was thinking about this topic.

I meet many job seekers who have been out of work a few weeks.  They have the deer-in-the-headlight look, and are trying to figure out which way is up, which way is down.

I’ve also met job seekers who have been out of work for more than 2 years.  They have a different look.

It’s sad to me to see the darkness that goes hand-in-hand in the job search journey.

And they say we’re supposed to be up-beat, and positive… it can be nearly impossible to do when you feel like you’ve been cut off from oxygen for so long.

Should you quit?

Thom Singer says if you do, you are guaranteed you won’t find what you were looking for.

I’m sure there are some who quit, and then the jobs find them.

I had three or four job offers after I quit looking (that’s after I substantiated myself).

But really, should you quit?

I think it makes sense for a lot of people to quit.

Maybe even you.

My thinking is partially inspired by Seth Godin, from his book The Dip.  He talks about being in a dead-end, or a cul-de-sac (sp?)

Perhaps you are looking for the wrong thing (a traditional job) when you really should be looking for something else.

I wrote about this idea to kick off 2011 on my blog.  It was the first post of the year.  I called it: The Job Search Rabbit Hole.  Did you miss it?  Read it – I think the simple analogy is powerful.

If you think about it, maybe you are going down the wrong rabbit hole, and you should quit.




4 thoughts on “Quit the Job Search?”

  1. Even if you don’t shift over to doing something different, it sometimes makes sense to quit looking for a while. For example, I was laid off in June, 2001, and looked hard for a job but got zippo because of the tech bust. Then 9/11 happened and, while feeling great sympythy for those who lost their lives, I knew there was no way I was going to find a job until at least the beginning of the next year.

    So I stopped looking. Didn’t worry about it. (had the money to do it — a big deal).

    I went and spent three weeks at a friends place helping out on a project. Drove 700 miles to see my mom for Christmas as a surprise. Helped others. Helped myself.

    If you purposefully quit for a specific period of time, you can get away from all the guilt trips and relentless feelings of failure you create all too easily from the job search. It helps you rediscover who you are and helps you get your sense of worth back.

    Yes, sometimes it’s good to quick looking for a period of time.

  2. NEVER give up!

    A few tips to refocus- the hard part of job searching

    1. Name 5 of your strengths. What are YOU really good at. Be specific and write up examples.

    2. Make sure your resume and online profile communicates these strengths. Show them the money or the results!

    3. Using your key strengths, write up your elevator commercial. What you bring to a new employer…….why should they would hire you?

    4. Network, network, network!

    5. Manage your transition and relationships!

    6. If needed, ask for help (coaching) but continue to learn and read about interviewing, networking, strength finders, etc.

    7. Target X number of companies you want to work for and network.

    8. Set weekly goals. X networking calls or meetings per week.

    What are you willing to do for a job? Move? Training or school? If things aren’t working, start to measure how many meetings, resumes, connections and more you’re doing per week.

    Dream about your ideal job but never give up!

  3. Quitting is actually an under-used strategy and it could save a lot of resources and energy.

    We shouldn’t forget that it’s all about trying to get the complex match between recruiters needs and the job seeker’s professional goal.

    Refusing to quit could also be accepting opportunity costs.

    The lesson here is that job seekers have to be *agile* and keep on testing, iterating and deleting stuff along the way.

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