It is a given that the longer the job search the more difficult it becomes to motivate yourself for your next venture. It also becomes quite obvious to recruiters that after awhile that hole in your resume is more than a transition – it is a lifestyle change. The question of course is how long is too long?
In today’s economy it is probably safe to say that if you aren’t successful in finding a new employment position within the first 12 months that the possibility of finding anything worthwhile is going to be difficult at best. We are in a social norm that demands immediate results and immediate gratification and if you haven’t found a new home within a year people start wondering if you have fallen off the face of the earth or have retired, even if you aren’t anywhere near the age for AARP membership.
Though the old adage of a month of job search for every $10,000 in salary is still acceptable by most in the know, it is certainly frowned upon by most in the employment community to see a candidate “doing nothing” for a great length of time. During your transition you still need to account for your time on your resume. A hole is a hole and a resume looks awfully bleak with a blank time period.
It is vital for you to update your resume during this downtime with such listings as a Volunteer Board Position, Consulting, Pursuing a Post Graduate Degree or Acquiring a New Skillset. The goal is to impress upon future employers that you are still engaged in your field of experience and that you are taking advantage of this opportunity rather than the opportunity taking advantage of you.
Of course if you would rather just sit around and vegetate until someone knocks on your door with a job offer – here are some excuses for your present resume:
1) With the world coming to an end, why should I expend the energy to find new employment. It all seems so anticlimactic.
2) I never knew that there was so much to watch on television during the work day! How can I go back to work when I need to determine how “my soaps” are going to end?
3) Why should I put myself out there for more stress looking for work when I have just the right amount of stress right now at home with my family.
4) I am tired of rejection and betrayal; I am just going to stay here where I am appreciated.
5) Why should retirement be left to those who can barely walk? Retirement should be an enjoyable time in one’s life and I believe I am going to start it right now while I still can. Sort of like dessert before the entree is served.
6) The Chicago Cubs need me and I won’t start looking for a new job until they win the World Series. (Note to self: the last time the Cubs won the World Series was 1908).
7) I just can’t find what I want in a new job. I am not going to waste my time with searches that just aren’t the perfect fit for me.
8) Recruiters think I am too old anyway so I might as well prove them right. Instead of leaving my money to the kids and their kids, I might as well spend it now enjoying my life.
9) I don’t want to admit failure. I have always succeeded and if I quit now no one will ever know that this transition task is more difficult than I originally had thought.
10) I have the best office and best office hours I have ever had in my home searching for a new job; why should I disrupt such a good thing?
It is quite obvious that you can always find an excuse for not maintaining a dynamic employment transition. There are plenty of reasons for failure but if you spend so much time in that realm you really can’t spare much effort in finding your next job. No one ever said this was going to be easy; most things worth attaining in life aren’t. But if you don’t give it your all, the end result will be exactly what you have predicted – nothing achieved after a year of search!
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his distinguished career. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 80 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Copyright: MMXI. Reprint of this article is permitted if the above paragraph is included.