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How long will it take for you to find a new job?

I don’t know!

How’s that for an answer?

There are a lot of factors:

  • What’s the unemployment rate where you live?
  • Are you willing / able to relocate?
  • Are you willing to take a job that requires travel or odd hours?
  • How much demand is there for what you do?
  • What’s your job history like?
  • Are you realistic in your salary expectations?
  • What’s your attitude like?
  • Are you using effective means to do your search?
  • How much time and effort do you put into your search?

Consider that last question.

Let’s hypothetically say it takes 200 hours to land a new job in your field at your level.
That’s 200 hours of actual concerted effort and job search related activity.
(I just made up a number for the purposes of the example, I have no idea if that’s realistic for you or not)

If you truly WORK 40 hours per week at your job search…
It will take you 5 weeks.

If you paint your bedroom, plant new trees in your backyard, play solitaire on your computer, and work on your job search an average of 5 hours per day; or 25 hours per week…
It will take you 8 weeks.

If you sleep till noon, watch Oprah, make an awesome dinner for the family, and take a couple (2) hours per day to search the job boards and email some resumes; or 10 hours per week…
It will take you 20 weeks.

Get it?

Depending on what you do, and what level you’re seeking…
your actual hours needed to land a new job MAY be 300, 400, or 500 hours of activity.

The time it will take for you to land a new job, is largely dependent on you!
It may be a cliché to say that “Searching for a job is a full-time job.”
But I can tell you from my experience watching many, many job seekers I meet through networking and job search classes I lead, that VERY few people treat it like a full-time job.

Projects around the house, time with kids, friends, online, etc. can swallow up huge amounts of time without even realizing it.

When we’re in a job, most of us have schedules and routines that keep us productive and we find a way to get to our home projects around our work schedule.

When you’re not in a job, it’s critical to “protect” your job search time just as you would your work schedule when you’re in a job!

So… Use a planner and schedule your time!

  • Block out time for phone calls, research time, meetings, online time, etc.
  • Set goals for the number of people you will talk to and how many people you will meet each week.
  • Keep track of your activity and schedule your times to follow up with people.
  • Learn which activities have been most productive and hone your schedule each week.

Make sure you put in the effort and you’ll get to the goal faster!


Thank you for visiting The Wise Job Search. I truly appreciate your interest. If you like the material here and would like to help keep it viable, please peruse and visit book recommendations, and other resources posted throughout the site. Best wishes on your continued search, and feedback is always welcome!


Susan Ireland said...

I'd like to add one more question to the first list:
Do you have a resume that effectively targets your job objective? Having a good resume can reduce your job search time.

Debra Feldman, the JobWhiz said...

Don't assume that the candidate has the right job search strategy, a plan that focuses on the right employers,includes a marketing presentation that meets the prospective employers' needs, that this information or value proposition is communicated compellingly and that it is delivered to an individual able to appreciate the candidate's interest. So in addition to dedicating time, having a positive attitude and preparing a strong resume as Susan Ireland recommends, the campaign must target the right group of employers, be conveyed clearly and convincingly and be in the hands of someone who has hiring authority that can appreciate the candidate's potential contribution to success.

ChuckB_IT said...

WOW, as expected, very well said from all the experts here. Thank you.

Just my 5 cents worth. I was laid off in July 2008 after being with the company for 10 years. So job searching in this new climate was/is scary, but Harry, Susan and Debra are right -- you have to commit yourself to this new job (the search).

Long story short, I finally landed June 1st this yr but ended 9/3 (90 day contract) with a possibility it could be extended but it wasn't.

Just a short note on value propositions -- they need to be UNIQUE value propositions, you have to stand out from the crowd. Then convincingly communicate why you're unique.

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