Are you like 6% of America that has found themselves out of work and are looking for jobs? Or are you even like one of the ~10% of Californian’s in the same position? Me too.
Looking for a job, especially in this economy, can be one of the most frustrating things. Everyday you wake up to the nagging feeling of, “Will someone actually think I’m worth hiring?” or “How in the world am I going to stand out and get through?” or “How am I going to support myself in the mean time?”
Part of the problem of looking for a job is the sheer fact of not knowing how to look for a job. Lots of times we are never sat down and taught, “This is how you do an interview. This is how you write a resume. This is how you go apply. This is how you communicate/present yourself.” Sadly, we’re left up to trial and error, which, in my opinion, totally sucks.
So, in my hunt for a job, I’ve been scouring for advice and resources on what to look for, how to look for it, and how to get it. I’ve read a lot of things that have been very helpful – some common sense stuff that you sit back and wonder, “haven’t I known this all along?” Being prepared is probably the most important thing in looking for a job. Too many times we look for a job and just ‘show up’ thinking our innate skills will get us through. Sometimes this works, but 99% of the time it won’t.
So, here are some resources that I’ve found to be helpful. Hopefully they help you to.
Top 10 Things To Do If You Become Unemployed – Probably the most helpful resource.
Stop Focusing On Your Weaknesses – A little “Self-Helpish” but its still true. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re not good at that we forget what we are good at.
Finding Your Strengths – A little help to find your strengths
The Top 50 Job Interview Questions – a resource for the most frequently asked questions by an interviewer.
5 Ways “Brand” Out Your Interveiw – I didn’t think this was that great, but some of it was helpful
8 Tips To Help You Find Your Way In – Some of these are good
A few more things to note that I found but can’t remember where I found them:
1) We typically think finding a job will take 2-4 weeks. The truth is that finding a job in the specific career path we want to go usually takes 10-12 weeks. Because of the recession, it is more like 17-19 weeks (i.e. 4-5 months) but I think some jobs (like a ministry job) could easily be longer (6-8 months). So if you are looking for a specific kind of job that is not in super high-demand, it’s gonna take some time. If you are just going to take a job just to take a job, time will be quicker, but it still takes several weeks. Give yourself time – it’s o.k., your value is not directly attached to whether or not you are working. (Unless of course you are a bum who stays at home all day playing videogames and watching TalkSoup. Then you are pretty close to being worthless…)
2) Own your unemployment. Don’t be afraid of telling people you are unemployed and are looking for a job. The only reason you should be ashamed of being unemployed is if you got fired from your last job because you were stealing money from the cash register (or something of the sort). Being unemployed is a great opportunity to do a lot of new things, think new ideas, consider different career and even life paths, and even simply rest. Busyness does not always equal productivity. Just making yourself busy because you have so much time doesn’t mean your doing something that is helpful. Maybe you are unemployed because God wants you to take time to slow down and think through what’s really important, to see things that you haven’t seen before. Go somewhere to be quiet for an hour – pray, meditate, journal, sit quietly; something to slow yourself down. Your unemployment can be a very good thing – own it.
3) Be yourself. I know, stupid, cliché, yada yada. But seriously, most people, if they’re themselves are relatively enjoyable to be around. Don’t be pretentious or act like the person you think they want to hire. Be presentable, but most companies are looking for genuineness. Let people see those things that you like, that you find interesting. This goes for a lot more than just job-searching. So, just be yourself, and feel comfortable about it. Unless, of course, you dress up like Darth Vader and beat people with a plastic light-saber – then my advice to you is to stop being yourself immediately.
If you know of any other stuff, post ’em here and I’ll update this list. Hope this helps.