It has been about a month since my last post and my job search is ongoing. I have gotten on site interviews and phone screens at a number of places. Some of the roles have been very exciting, others not so much. The hunt has become a bit monotonous so I figured I would take a break and recount some observations I’ve made. Looking for a job is hard. When it gets me down, these are some of the techniques I leverage to give me a boost.
The wheels of talent acquisition turn slowly
This has been perhaps the single most frustrating piece of the process. Resumes submitted to a job posting get tossed into a black hole. People take weeks to get back to you, if they ever reply at all. As a candidate, this is possibly the first interaction you’ve had with the internal workings of a company and it normally doesn’t leave a good impression. I have taken to finding folks with “recruiter” or “talent” in their title on LinkedIn. I’ll write a quick note asking for more information on the role I have applied for. More often than not, this gets me past the automated resume screening and to a real person. From there, interviews take days to set up while you’re sitting at home thinking, “Call me right now, I’m ready!” Remember that they’re working and have other stuff to do. Understanding this can help relieve the frustration you’re bound to feel.
Keep learning professionally
You can’t surf Indeed and LinkedIn all day every day. You can’t apply to jobs, tune your resume, and write cover letters from dawn to dusk. Take a break and keep your skills sharp. I’ve found Udemy to be a great resource for some cheap training. I’ve completed a course on Kubernetes and am in the middle of a course on Python. I’ve also completed a professional certification: Amazon Web Services Cloud Practitioner. All are associated with my skillset, but only the AWS cert was based on professional experience. The other two are totally new topics to me and gave my brain something else to focus on while rounding out my knowledge. Searching for a job is draining and having a distraction for your mind is important.
Keep learning personally
Lounging about is fun and while I certainly do that on occasion, I try to focus on keeping active. Whatever your passions, devote time to them with intention. While being unemployed sucks, it is also a time of freedom. I’ve picked up a new hobby, a vegetable garden, and spent extra time with my chickens and bees. I also brew beer and work on my 1979 Land Cruiser. I’ve learned a bunch on small engine repair (my lawnmower busted) and have dropped a few trees that were over shading the backyard. The last one wasn’t a passion exactly but who doesn’t like using power tools? You have the time to pursue your passions – do it!
Don’t lose heart
A job hunt can be depressing. There’s no way getting around it – the majority of places you apply will reject you. Sometimes you’ll understand why, sometimes you won’t. It is important to remember that it isn’t personal. Employers don’t know you well enough and make decisions based on your CV or a LinkedIn profile. You can’t let it get you down. I’ve been rejected from ~20 roles at this point, about twice a week. I wasn’t all that jazzed about all of them but there were certainly some I was excited about. It is really hard to be told “no” over and over again. But I know the right role will come along and I’ll be better for it. As I said in my last post, I can’t settle.
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Do you have some other suggestions for keeping positive during a job search? Please leave them in the comments below!