I just read this article entitled, “Day in the Life of a Successful Job Seeker” at Careerealism and it got me thinking. Have I been doing many of the things listed here that are considered “activities proven to be worst use of time for job seekers?” I certainly have been combing the job boards on the Internet daily. I have spent much of my time combing BradTraverse.com and other job boards. Just yesterday, I visited Monster.com for the first time since my last period of unemployment in 2007 and updated my resume and profile.
Much of what the article suggests is networking with others. What is difficult for me is that I have had only one job, at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), where I have experience in the field of my choosing — the public and nonprofit sectors. As a newly minted graduate with a Masters in Public Administration, I don’t have many “industry” contacts yet. I know that I need to get out there. My question, when I consider going into the city (Washington, DC) each day is where I will be the most efficient.
I find that I am able to apply for at least two jobs each day on average; and these are jobs that I find a good fit. Jobs using social media, social networking and new media, e-Marketing, e-mail marketing, online communications, program analysis or program evaluation or even performance measurement. All of these jobs have some variation of what I am looking for in a new position.
Following the LinkedIn American Society for Public Administration group discussions and other listserves such as the Progressive Exchange and Twitter Careerealism, Doostang and GetInterviews accounts, among others, I find many insightful articles, posts and discussions dealing with the job search.
Am I doing the right things or should I venture to get out more? Should I leverage my LinkedIn contacts and start contacting people there to gain insight from their experience; such as my University professors? Should I make an appointment with George Mason University’s career center?
I can relate all too well with the bullet points at the beginning of the article at Careerealism. There is this sense of pressure that money will run out and we will have to go into debt to keep things afloat. The family is “wondering when we will find a job.” My own “feelings of self-worth” are coming into question. For the most part, I don’t let these questions show when others are around. I have a rather positive outlook and disposition most of the time. I still have some of my severance pay and I can make it through July but not much further than that. I have already had interviews with two different organizations since I left my position at UCP and I am waiting on a call-back from an interview with the second organization I interviewed with last week. My job search, for the most part, is still performing rather well and I am looking forward to hearing back from the second organization I interviewed with as well as others I am still applying for, including the federal government (Government Printing Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, etc.).
The only factor that really weighs on me is the concept of time in the job search. I have an ENTJ (Meyers-Briggs) personality and I like to make things happen fast. A lot of the job search is 1) a numbers game – the more jobs I apply for, the more likely I am to get a call-back and 2) out of my hands – employers call on their own schedule.
What’s more disconcerting is many of the job postings I am applying to are to a general e-mail inbox and I cannot simply follow up to ensure that my resume was received or to find out who I should be speaking with regarding my candidacy.
There are many factors out of my control during this job search. I am okay with that. I need to question, from time-to-time if I am doing the right thing or if I should be doing something more productive.
I am glad and blessed, however, to have a loving family to spend much of my attention on after business hours. Time with them makes this process much more bearable, yet stressful (feeling a sense that I need to provide for them).
What do you think? Am I using my time efficiently or should I be doing something more to enhance my chances for success in the public and nonprofit sectors?