Budget Time in Your Job Search

Posted February 22, 2011
By Clay Cerny

A client called the other day to tell me he hadn’t heard from any employers. It had only been a week since he received his resume, and he had only applied for three jobs. Budgeting time and managing expectations are very important skills in a job search. You need to keep the right perspective while moving your job search forward.

The first issue is time. There are several rules of thumb in finding a job. Some people say the average time is one month for every $10,000 you earn, which means that someone making $50,000 should expect an average job search of 5 months. Others say the average time is three to six months. With my clients, I have found this formula works better. However, I caution clients about the word average. If the average is 3-6 months, some people will find a job in one month and others might take a year. In the current economy, some job seekers have been labeled 99ers because they have been out of work for more than 99 weeks.

A good job search also needs realistic expectations. Most employers will not respond to a job application. Many don’t even send thank you letters after you go to interviews. Expect to hear nothing. Your job is to stay focused, keep networking, and apply for open positions until you land a new job. If your expectations are unrealistic, it is likely that your job search will stall or – worse still – you will stop looking for work.

Staying motivated is a key to success. Once you start looking for a new job, don’t stop until you have reached your goals. Know that there will dips in the road and obstacles that you must overcome. Those are realities in almost every job search. Managing your time and expectations well will not make your job search easy, but it will usually make the process of looking for work faster and help you find a better job.