How Long Will It Take?

by Urschel, Harry Thursday, November 19, 2009

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FAQs for Job Seekers
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!