If At First You Don’t Succeed….(in finding a job)

December 8, 2008

As a child, when I would try something and be unsuccessful, my teachers or family would repeat this old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”   Nowhere is this advice more true than in the job search.

The job search always requires persistence and resilience, even in good economic times, but even more so in bad economic conditions like we are now experiencing.  The job search will likely take more time and effort than it may have in the past.  There is no use sugar-coating it, hiding from it or complaining about it.  (Okay, you are allowed to complain a little).

In this economy, you are likely to apply for many, many positions before successfully landing a post-graduate job opportunity.  Upcoming graduates seem to be shocked when we tell them that applying to 3-4 jobs will probably not result in a job offer.  You will most likely have to apply to many more than 3-4 jobs in order to even land an interview!  This is where the persistence part comes in.  Apply to as many jobs as possible, as long as they are opportunities that interest you in some way, or will provide you with skills and experience you need to move to the next level.  Also, if you aren’t getting interviews for the types of jobs you desire because you lack experience, look for positions that are the next level below the type of job to which you aspire.  Depending on the career field you are seeking to enter, this may be the only way to gain a position, due to the levels of competition for certain types of career opportunities.

Rejection is also just part of the process. You will apply to jobs, and despite following up with the employer with a well thought out phone call or email, you won’t hear back from them at all.  You’ll interview for positions and be turned down.  Here is where the resilience comes in…pick yourself up and just keep applying and interviewing.  Don’t let the rejection get you down, because this will negatively affect the next interview.  Learn from each experience and you’ll do better the next time.  And don’t eliminate a company just because they turn you down – if they have other jobs later on, apply for those as well!  Sometimes the employer may like you, but just not think you’re the right fit for one position – but you may be the right fit for a different one!   (Yours truly would not be writing this blog entry if I had given up on the College of Charleston – I applied twice for the exact same position.  I was rejected the first time, but the second time…well, here I am!)

If you have questions or concerns about how to conduct an effective job search make an appointment to see a staff member in the Career Center.  We’d be happy to assist you in developing your own personalized job search plan of action.

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