Finding a job when you do not have a job is probably one of the most difficult things to do in life. Many times hiring managers will screen out those without a job from the applicant pool. For this and other reasons, if you are unemployed it will probably take longer to land a job.
When I found myself in this situation, I had to learn very quickly to take charge of the situation. I found that there were four actions that can shorten the time it takes to find a new job.
First, get past feeling sorry for yourself. When the company I was working for went bankrupt, I took it personally. My self-esteem really took a hit.
My turning point happened when I emailed a friend about what happened and he responded that I was a great person with a lot of skills. He agreed that the economy was tough, but there were still jobs out there that would be great for me. My friend was right to push me in that direction; a personal pity party did not find me a new job – action found me a new job.
Second, network with everyone. It made me swallow my pride to ask people if their business was hiring, but I would ask. On top of that, ask your contacts to let you know of any openings they hear about. I got some leads from friends and contacts and, to this day, I always pass along any lead I get to someone I think might benefit from it. People will remember that and reciprocate in the future. Paying it forward really works.
Third, get out there on social media. Change your status to looking for a new opportunity. Be honest, because if people do not know you are looking, they will not pass along opportunities to you. Let people know how they can help.
Set a goal for the number of jobs that you will apply to per day. I used a daily target of ten per day, but there were days I was able to get 20 applications posted online.
Fourth, volunteer for a cause. You have more time that you will likely not have when you are working. So, why not volunteer that time to a cause you are passionate about? It will get you around other like-minded people who might actually be looking for a hard working go-getter for their organizations.
I had one friend that was at a company that had been bought by another company and he found himself looking for work. He volunteered for a local charity and played a large role in the renovation of their facility. He went on to earn a man of the year award with that charitable organization and, shortly after some media coverage of his award, companies sought him out to interview for different positions.
These four actions can drastically shorten the time it takes to find a job. It is certainly not easy. You will have to not only deal with rejection but with the lack of any response. Stay positive and know that, in time, an opportunity will be found.
About the Author: Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is the program director for the Reverse Logistics Management department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has more than 25 years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. Dr. Gordon earned his Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA.