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Job Hunting

Stick To It!

 

Jobseekers using computers at local employment office.

Stick-to-it-iveness…

I’m not sure that’s a word, but it’ll work until something better comes along.

I have found in my work one of the major differences between those job seekers who find employment and those who do not: the motivation to stick to the tedious job search even when leads grow thin and rejections pile up. Those who stick to it end up with jobs. Eventually.

I give employment assistance to a caseload of over 100 long-term unemployed individuals. After an in-depth intake appointment I make sure I keep tabs on these people to provide assistance and job leads, and to follow-up on their progress. Yet I never hear back from almost half of these people.

Is it me? Did I forget my deodorant this morning??

Recently I did finally hear back from a few of my people, and they had a similar message. I’m printing one as an example:

“Kim,

I wax weary. I might as well quit fooling myself and give up. The strain is overwhelming me. I have been trying to reopen my unemployment claim since the beginning of Aug and always get a “high volume, call back” message every time. The stress is wreaking havoc with my body.

Fatigue is the order of the day and my “go” tank is bone dry. I just can’t do it anymore. Thank you for all your efforts.”

It breaks my heart to hear such pain in the voices and words of my customers. I feel their fatigue. I’ve been there too.

So is it time to pack it in?

They say it is always darkest before the dawn. In my opinion, the darker it gets, the brighter that dawn is going to appear. Will it finally come? Will my customers get the jobs they are looking for? While I wish I could pull jobs out of my pocket and give them to all the people lucky enough to have me for a case manager (JOKE), it is ultimately their efforts that will pay off. I can connect them to suitable job postings. I can help them target their resumes. I can practice interview questions. But they have to keep pushing along.

Will they get a job? They won’t if they stop trying.

I had started working with a person several months ago who was very confident that he would be back to work by the end of the next week. He had a strong resume and was doing everything right. He was getting interviews, sometimes three to four a week. But time after time he was passed over. And yet, whenever I checked in with him:

“Currently I am still unemployed but believe that it will end this coming Monday. I will have my last interview with True Blue. This will be my 4th interview with them and I do believe that the job is mine unless I blow it which I will not do.”

And another—

“I have had 3 interviews this week and am feeling really good about 2 of them. On one of the jobs I should hear this week if I got it. The other I might hear this week if I get a follow-up interview. I still have great hope and continue to plow ahead.”

He got none of those jobs. I did get a phone call three weeks ago, and while his wife and children were cheering in the background, he told me that an employer my coworker and I referred him to had extended him a lucrative job offer, better than the one he had been laid off from. They liked his confidence.
I foresee that story repeated for some of my more active job seekers. One tells me every time she sees me, “I know the right job is out there. I feel it. And I won’t quit until I find it!”

The moral of this story?

Find a way to believe in yourself and what you can give to the employer. Don’t give up. Take a break, walk away and clear your head, but keep going. The dawn will come.

I can personally testify to that.

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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

Discussion

One thought on “Stick To It!

  1. I hear U! I often tell my clients that those who do find jobs are the ones who treat job searching like a job: put in the effort, focus and attention they would in a “real” job. After all, it’s a reflection of their work ethic when that job comes along.

    Posted by Lisa | October 6, 2011, 9:38 pm

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