Job Seekers: Tips for First (and Second and Third) Timers
These days, so many people are out of work that beginning a job hunt can feel like joining a club. You aren’t alone, which can be reassuring, but at the same time, this is a club you’d like to drop out of as soon as you can find your way to the door.
If you’ve been laid off before, then you’re familiar with the drill. You’re less likely to panic and, ideally, the lessons of your previous experience are still with you. We gain wisdom from adversity, and if you’re entering the job search for the second or third time, this is where that wisdom pays off. The best advice for seasoned job seekers is standard—Be patient, be calm, and be brave about hunting down and contacting people who might be able to help you, even if you barely know them. But also: recognize the difficulty of what you’re doing, and give yourself credit. You’re wrestling with one of the signature challenges of our times. Use your knowledge and experience to lend support to those around you who may be going through this for the first time.
If you’re a first time job seeker, you may be more inclined to panic. This can lead to rookie mistakes, like dropping your standards, abandoning your dignity, or throwing yourself into a clearly mismatched position out of fear or desperation. If you find yourself tempted to do any of these things, remember: It’s rough out there, but it’s a good idea to maintain some perspective. A dose of steadiness can keep your thinking clear and help steer you toward positions that can lead to real stability. As long as you don’t get discouraged and stop looking, you will find work eventually. Meanwhile, a quick look at this chart provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics can offer a reminder of those who are worse off than you.