While baking cupcakes on Monday afternoon, for the cupcake competition (another blog to follow on that), I was listening to NPR and was interested in this segment on Tell Me More.
The gist is that one should treat job hunting as a full time job in itself. And there was a time that I believed that. A pre-internet, pre-Facebook, pre-laptops and cell phones time. When I was in high school, looking for a summer job, I looked in the papers. I printed out a resume on a dot matrix printer. I put a nice outfit on and I went in and out of nearly every store in the Fox Run Mall looking for a job. It took leg-work. It was a lot of work When I was in college and looking for an off campus job, I put on an OK outfit and went in and out of stores I might want to work at (read: I might want a discount at). It was a lot of work. When I had a job I was bored by and needed a more interesting one, circa 2001, I just sent my resume via the fax at the boring job, to stores I thought would be a better career move. I went home and stayed up late looking on Monster. It was work.
But it wasn't a lot of work. The simple addition of the internet in the search made it somehow a little less daunting.
And when I moved to NY, jobless and near broke in 2004, Craigslist was how I got every interview - before and after the actual move. It was work. And, as I had no income to speak of, it was furious and fast-paced work. But it wasn't a lot of work. It wasn't even full time work. There are only so many jobs posted a day. And you can only apply to so many of them. Especially when you are looking to build a career, not just have a job.
The economy sucks. It's in the freakin' toilet. Everyone knows that. And pretending that if you spend 8 hours a day looking online for a job you will get one any faster is just ridiculous. There are only so many jobs out there. There are only so many people looking to hire. Of course, the lay offs have slowed down, but those jobs aren't being filled. And with the amount of people who have been laid off from any given field, the competition is that much higher.
I'm not saying we should all sit around in our jammies watching reruns of 90210 on SoapNet all morning. No. Of course not. Wake up. Splash some water on your face. And sit down and look at those job boards. Look for something you want to do. But, if you are collecting unemployment, look for something you want to do long term. Don't get desperate until desperation sets in!!!
It's spring time, gentle readers. So. Go outside and sit under a tree to eat your lunch. Go for a bike ride. Take a walk. By all means, look for a job. Get on Facebook (and whatever other social networking tools you use) and remind your friends that you are looking - those long lost high school and college friends might have a lead for you! Hop on Craigslist and Monster and whatever other job boards are good for your industry and update your resume and send out those resumes. But, I'm not going to lie to you - in the current economy, if you spend eight hours a day doing that, you will just be spinning your wheels. And you will be frustrated. And you will feel bad about yourself.
And we all know that the laid off person already feels bad enough about themselves!