The Life and Times of a Job Seeker

The ultimate result of any transition is to find a job; not just any job but an environment that you can be comfortable in and a position that hopefully you can make a significant difference for the future.  Obviously any decision must be evaluated within your need for financial solace, but a transition is not the time to settle for any job or you will find yourself in the same situation sooner rather than later.

The lengthier the transition the more anxious job seekers get.  Every candidate is extremely satisfied that they can have a respite early on in their search, but there comes a point within the transition that enough is enough and the candidate is ready to provide some real value to society once again.  That point varies for each candidate during their transition, but dependent on the level being sought, one can expect anxiety and anticipation to become prominent around the 6 month period.

Unfortunately today’s job market is not as robust as we would like and job seekers need to be prepared for the long haul.  It is frustrating, it can be depressing but it is reality.  If it was up to the job seeker the decision would have been made months ago but that just isn’t the real world.  The world doesn’t rotate at your desired speed so get used to the fact that you’re going to have to hurry up and wait.

Because your network and contacts have been clued in from day one, this lengthy search is probably getting excessive for them as well.  Your network has all the best intentions, these are individuals who are your friends and business associates and there is nothing they wouldn’t do to find you a new landing spot for your career.  However, like any long running Broadway play – would you rather see something new and different that the critics have pronounced as phenomenal or return to that musical that you saw months ago?  Even your friends and family would like to discuss a different subject on occasion.

It is vital for the job seeker to keep a positive attitude and disposition.  The last thing your friends and contacts need to do is to continually pump you up.  Everybody has their ups and downs but never over-burden your support system with a downer attitude because it won’t be long that you will be forced to look for a new shoulder for support.

Though a job search is a full time job it is not the only purpose of your life.  You do need to find some other activities to pass the time and the following are just a few suggestions that can assist in the search while making you a more profound individual:

1)  You have always wanted to get more involved with the various charities and philanthropics in your community – this is your opportunity.  Provide your years of experience during these troubling times for many non-profits.

2)  Inform your network and association friends that you are willing and able to assist as a freelancer or consultant.  Every association can use one more pair of hands prior to their annual meeting.  With associations now mean and lean you can also assist with a major project that just doesn’t seem to want to get started.  Though compensation is certainly welcome, it is being needed again that will be the benefit of these efforts.

3)  Have you ever considered being a guest speaker or lecturer at the local community college?  How about conducting a webinar that you can post on your personal website?  Besides giving you an opportunity to shine once again this is another opportunity to promote your personal brand and who knows, just the right person may be in the audience.

4)  Widen your horizons – you know you will land once again with an association but it doesn’t hurt to involve yourself with other professions so that you can learn talents that may be beneficial once you find your new job.  The last time I was in transition I helped a neighbor who was in the survey and consumer analytics business.  It gave me a whole new perspective on what a consumer truly desires.

5)  Share your knowledge and become a mentor.  There are numerous college graduates needing help in finding their first job.  These are jobs that will not compete with your search so why not provide your expertise in careers and job search?  Who knows, this relationship may be a two-way learning experience?

Transitions are rough on the job seeker as well as all those who are there offering a helping hand.  Though we all are hopeful that the hiatus will be short and painless, we soon enough realize that what is worth attaining will take more time than we anticipated.  Many thanks to all those in the trenches, but if the truth be told – it is the job seeker that must be motivated, it is the job seeker who must make the effort, and it is the job seeker who ultimately must endeavor or the job they seek may never come to pass.

Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations.  He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives.  He currently is between positions and has authored more than 50,000 words or 90 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition.  He can be reached at:

Copyright:  MMXI.  Reprint of this article is permitted if the above paragraph is included.


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