Why You Need to Be Realistic About Your Job Search Timeline

Posted January 19, 2016

Confident in their skills, some people think that finding a new job is only a few clicks away and will take a matter of weeks.

However, that kind of thinking can lead to frustration and disappointment as most job searches can take months, if not a year or more.

There are many factors that will determine how long a person has to look for work.  Areas including skill set or experience level, are out of your control, so it's important to keep those in mind when searching for a new job.

Factors affecting the length of your timeline

Experience is one of the biggest factors affecting the length of time it will take to find a new job.  Entry-level workers may find the job market particularly unforgiving. Those with more experience may land that desired position a bit quicker, especially in a job market looking for qualified job candidates.

The time of year is another major factor. Hiring often takes place after annual budgets are approved - which is either October or January, depending on the company.  Expect the holiday season and the dog days of summer, when many people take vacations, to be the slowest times for hiring. The first quarter, especially January, features the busiest time of the year for people looking for job opportunities.

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of one of these notoriously slow periods, go with the flow and shift your energy temporarily toward expanding your professional network or acquiring new skills. Prepare your job search documents and be ready for when companies are looking to hire. You don’t want to be performing basic resume updates when you could be applying for new jobs.

A word of warning

In addition to all of the factors listed above, a job hunter must also consider how flexible they are going to be in finding that next job.  If you are looking for a very particular niche job, your search may take a very long time.

A job search can be shortened in a nontraditional sense by exploring freelancing, skills monetization and other possibilities helped by the emergence of the Internet.  Exploring these avenues could open up a whole new career or add skills like basic accounting or sales abilities.

The idea behind adopting this mindset is: Don't let an extended job hunt get you down. There are more job possibilities out there than you realize if you just open your mind to the possibilities. Being closed-minded and only thinking about traditional company-based employment doesn’t do you any favors.

Working your networking connections and not being shy about telling people you are looking for a new job opportunity can really help your job search. If you've been diligent in networking, then your connections will help you take the next step in your career.

At Ambassador, one of the leading employment firms in the South, we have substantial experience in helping individuals shorten their job hunt. If you need assistance finding your next employment opportunity, feel free to give us a call today!