Job Hunting Sucks

A friend of mine who is job hunting (he’s looking for a job in Software QA if you know of any positions) emailed me this morning for help with his job hunt.

Here’s my tough-love answer:

Your job right now is looking for work. If you’re not spending 35-40 hours/week on looking for work, you’re not doing it right. That does not mean 35-40 hours/week sitting at your computer. That’s the least productive way to get a job. You get a job by meeting people.

Have you gone to any of these meetings?:

It took me 10 seconds to find that group. That’s the kind of thing you should be doing. Sending a resume somewhere and having that actually work for getting you an interview is like winning the lottery. Meeting someone at a group like that is easy, and its like getting 5 interviews for no effort.

I couldn’t do it when I was in Flagstaff, but even though I’m not looking for a job any more, next week I’m going to my college alumni luncheon so that the next time I go looking for a job I’ll have 15 people I can call. Additionally, when my new company is looking for people, I’ll know 15 people I can recommend.

Besides hard core networking, in addition to the 35-40/hours week you need to spend looking for work, you need to be spending 10-20 hours/week Sharpening the Saw. That means exercising, learning a new skill, etc.

Finally, looking for work can be demoralizing because you do a lot of work before you see any success. When you see success, you’re done. You need to reframe the way you approach this so that you can refill your success well.

That means you need to start logging everything you do while looking for work. That’s what I had to do, I had to reframe things so that just doing the work was “success”. That also helped me budget my time so that I wasn’t doing too much of the things I liked to do (spend hours on the computer browsing websites) and more of the things I didn’t like to do (networking). Pick the part of the job hunt you hate the most (for me it was cold calling) and any day you do two of those in a day is a “win” for you.


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