Realistic Expectations

realistic expectations

During your job search you will be forced out of your comfort zone and will research various details and make many decisions. The job search process can be filled with many ups and downs especially if your expectations are unrealistic.

The following are things to consider:

There is no magic pill or quick fix

It would be nice if an effective job search consisted of a predictable series of steps that led to a satisfactory job. This is simply not the case. Each job seeker’s needs are different, and the job market is constantly changing. Your approach has to be tailored to your needs and goals.  Your approach should make the best use of your personality, while at the same time making a commitment to specific minimum standards you will achieve daily.

Your job search will be a roller coaster

Only in exceptional circumstances does someone simply apply for the first job they identify and obtain a job offer. More often it is a long series of ups and downs, promises and rejections, excitement and boredom. Expect several ups and downs and know that this is normal when you go on the job search rollercoaster.

Plan for the long term and commit to an open ended process with continuous activity. Think of your job search as a journey – with many possible turns, detours, and obstacles. You will become wiser and stronger for each wrong turn.  Learn to focus on the destination, not the last bad turn or rejection you may have faced.

Uncertainty is a given

Perhaps the most stressful aspect is the new sense of uncertainty that goes with the process. You don’t know if you are trying hard enough, doing the right things, how long the journey will take, and so on. You are also powerless to factors beyond your control. Commit to a specific number of hours and actions you will complete daily to give yourself the best chance of finding employment.

Utilize experts and reach out for help

You are not a professional interviewer, resume writer or in many cases you are not a professional sales person. One of the most important contributions to any successful job search is the assistance you get from friends, associates, family and professional advisors.

They can assist you on two levels:

  • In managing your job search strategies, for example:
    • Resume preparation</li style=”text-indent: -0.25em; margin-left: 2.0em;”>
    • Organizing your search
    • Mastering the art of interviewing
  • In your networking efforts. Often these individuals can make priceless contacts for you, open doors or provide you with leads.

The most important point here is that you allow yourself to be open and willing to accept assistance and advice as a priority – and not think that this is a personal and private matter.

Most job searches take longer than expected

You would like your search to be over as quickly as possible – and in some cases this might be possible. However, it is more likely that your search will continue for a significant length of time.

The more effort – the quicker the trip

Setting a realistic pace for your job search is important. You will have to spend quite a lot of time at first as you get ready for the process (the prepare phase,) once you are set up you need to decide how much time you want to spend on your job search daily.

If you are not working, your job search is your full-time job. If you are working, you need to dedicate a minimum of ten hours a week to your job search.

Your attitude will influence your results

If you think you can or can’t succeed in your job search, you’re right! If you are confident in how you present yourself, you will be seen as capable and motivated – obviously characteristics that will be noticed and sought after by hiring authorities.

There is no perfect job

You may decide to wait out for the perfect job, especially if you’re job search has gone longer than expected. It’s wise to realize, there is no such thing as the perfect job. Focus instead on finding your way to an ideal job, one that engages your interests, utilizes your skills and abilities and aligns with your values. It’s important to have realistic expectations to keep your spirits high and limit frustration.

Does job security even exist?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Your next job will not be the last job you have. Nothing is forever, and change is constant. Your only job security is to constantly learn new skills, enhance your experience and improve your marketability. Commit to a lifetime of learning because the only job security you have is you!

Rick ChristensenRick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice

Rick has been a career consultant for almost 30 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at:

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Rick Christensen

Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

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