Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How to stay motivated while job hunting

Many people have said “If you are unemployed then getting a job is a job in itself”, so very true. In 2005 – 2006 (ah those were the times!), for an IT professional shifting from one job to another was very easy and opportunities were standing at your door step (if you were good enough!). But today being just good doesn’t help getting a new job.
Keep looking for the right job
People need to understand that getting the job which you love and have passion for is very important, so do not get tired of searching for it. If you were a programmer or Business Analyst in the Healthcare sector then getting a job in Healthcare would be much easier than getting a job in the Travel & Tourism industry. But currently there are far less new projects being started by companies and it means that if you are an IT worker & out of job, then getting a new job is difficult.
Please don’t apply to a job because it is advertised, you saw it in your inbox. Ask yourself, “If by chance I do get an interview call, how will I answer the questions from a sector in which I have zero experience?” If you have the answer for that, go ahead and apply, otherwise it is probably best to move on and keep looking.
Keep working on your skills
Don’t just Google & apply for jobs, use this precious time as an opportunity to sharpen your skills or work on those skills which you were planning to learn when you were employed. IT skills can be given a boost by doing a certification course or a project management course or even a soft skills course like time management or public speaking. Or even something completely different like wind surfing or learning the guitar! If you are in the finance sector look at the FSA website everyday & try to find out, “What would I, as a Business Analyst in a financial institution, do with this new FSA Consulting Paper?”. Finance consultants can also use this time to learn statistical tools like MATLAB or SAS. Once you are in a job you would have to do the work your boss asks you to do and then work pressure never allows you to enhance your skills. And never forget that the ultimate goal is to get the right job, which you can make a career out of.
Quickly make yourself busy after you hear a bad news
With so many people being unemployed, the competition for the same job has gone up & the employer has a choice of choosing from a much larger pool of candidates. Attending a 3rd or 4th round of interview is becoming common now. Also, there are more rejections for a single post. So after hearing application rejection news you can:
  1. go to YouTube and see a kid laughing or a kid’s funny dance
  2. watch the news
  3. watch Slumdog Millionaire or Shawshank Redemption (or similar uplifting movie)
  4. watch the football match
The idea is to divert your mind from the bad news & just move ahead. Ask yourself “Do I have any choice other than looking ahead?”
Make personal contacts
Recruitment consultants always try to place those candidates whom they find would get placed pretty quickly. After all everyone’s got a mortgage to pay!
You can look at those companies whom you think might require your expertise, contact the HR directly and pitch yourself; maybe they might like your ideas and skill strengths. Ask your club mates if they know someone who can help you find a job. Meet new people and discuss your CV with them, you never know someone might say “Hey you know what I have a friend who owns/works in XYZ company, would you be interested to meet him?” There is no harm in telling someone “I am not employed and I need your help”. Most people understand the current economic climate & are ready to help.
The most important thing is that you must have faith in yourself. If you were good enough earlier, it means you are good enough now; it’s just the time that is bad. Maybe 6 months after getting a job you would laugh at those unemployed days and say “Blimey! I caught up on a lot of movies; as many as I have seen in all my life!”


Anonymous,  3:30 PM, January 11, 2010  

Good to see in you in high spirits, sardar.

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