Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How long is a piece of string?

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I am job-hunting. Here's the blog where I talked about it.

Whilst I am seriously hunting, I am also dealing with the personal issues - adjusting my routine to accommodate the expected schedule changes etc (This happens everytime we move and I decide to work, and as far as I can see, the kids are none the worse for it! They are very resilient and veteran GTE - GlobeTrotting Executive kids).

So my muse for today is - How long should a job search take?
It depends on quite a few things.

  • what kind of job do you want? (professional, full-time, part-time. some jobs are easier to get into than others, but are not as challenging or rewarding) 
  • have you got any relevant experience/education in that field?
  • is your skill set in a niche industry sector or one that has a high demand? (Niche means limited opportunities, high demand means lots of opportunities, but equally likely lots of competition.)
  • have you set realistic salary expectations? (be realistic about what you expect. is a good place to start)
  • how distressed is the current economy? (a distressed economy means employers are not actively recruiting, resulting in fewer job opportunities) 
  • what time of the year is it? (things slow down over the summer months, and pick up in fall/autumn)
  • are the employers open to 'foreigners'? (some jobs have access to sensitive information and are reserved only for the local citizens)
  • are you flexible? (willing to volunteer or consider alternative - maybve lesser roles - until the real job comes through)
  • how big / wide is your professional network in that new location? (in terms of people who can connect you to available opportunities)

These are the things that come to mind as possible considerations during the job search, and therefore make the question difficult to answer.

Simply put, the question 'How long should a job search take?' could be para-phrased into 'How long is a piece of string - really?'

If pushed to give an answer, I'd say anything between a month to 6 months really (sometimes 12 months). I would advise though, if possible, to hold out for the right job and not just jump at the first available job.

Good luck to everyone out there who is searching for their dream role!

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