Even in a good economy, it can feel impossible to find a job at times.
Remote work, for all of the positive it brings, has made the job search market all the more competitive, as you’re now competing against hundreds of candidates from all across the globe for remote positions.
For on-site positions, it can be tough to find a job in your area that tightly aligns to your skills, interests, and qualifications.
After an extended period of consistent rejections, it can sometimes feel like you’re just never to going to get a job.
To that end, we created this article for people that are feeling like it’s impossible to find a job. The advice below is sourced from top career experts, who offer their perspective on common questions around the topic of it feeling difficult to find a job.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Is It Normal to Struggle to Find a Job?
- 2 Why Does It Seem Impossible to Find a Job?
- 3 What Can You Do If You Can’t Find a Job?
- 4 I Need a Job Now: What To Do?
- 5 Conclusion
Is It Normal to Struggle to Find a Job?
Yes! They don’t say looking for a full-time job is a full-time job for nothing.
A typical job search process can take individuals anywhere from 2 months to over a year, with the standard search taking about four to six months. This is because interview processes can move slowly, spanning over 6 weeks to 2 months from the first round to offer, companies going on hiring freezes, and the sheer competitiveness of landing a role.
The above content was provided by Melissa Trager, Founder, ResumeAllDay.
Why Does It Seem Impossible to Find a Job?
Mark A. Herschberg, Author of The Career Toolkit, suggests a variety of reasons why it may seem impossible to find a job:
- A general recession limiting broad hiring, such as in 2009. There’s not much to do but wait it out, possibly by lowering your expectations for what job you’ll take.
- Declining jobs in your sector, as people in manufacturing jobs faced in the 1990s. This is a systemic problem which will require you to shift into a new role or industry.
- A technological shift, causing your specific skill set to be out of date. This will require upskilling, either through formal training like a class, or finding a job, possibly a lower level one, where you can get on the job training,
- Bad employment history or reputation. You may have a resume with lots of job switches or just be known as a bad employee. I knew one very talented software developer who was unreliable and some days just wouldn’t show up to work. Everyone in the community knew this and so no company would hire him. In this case you need to do something to reset how people view you. That might be doing outreach to your network to manage your reputation, or maybe going back to school to take some time away and come back telling people there’s a new you. Or you could move to a different community, either geographically or industry.
What Can You Do If You Can’t Find a Job?
Daniel Pfeffer, Founder, KeySearch.co offers some suggestions what you can do if you can’t find a job:
Reflect On Your Job Search Strategy
Evaluate your approach, such as the types of positions you are applying for, your networking efforts, or the way you present your qualifications. Identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Expand Your Job Search
Explore different avenues for job opportunities, such as online job boards, professional networking platforms, industry-specific events, or career fairs. Consider reaching out to recruitment agencies or seeking advice from career counsellors or mentors.
Enhance Your Skills and Qualifications
Assess if there are specific skills or qualifications that are in high demand within your desired field. Look for opportunities to acquire those skills through online courses, workshops, or certifications. This can make you a more competitive candidate.
Network and Seek Support
Leverage your professional network and engage in conversations with colleagues, alumni, or industry professionals. Attend networking events or join relevant professional associations to expand your connections. Seek advice or mentorship from individuals who can provide guidance and support during your job search.
Consider Alternative Options
While searching for a full-time job, you may explore freelance or part-time work, internships, or volunteering opportunities. These experiences can help build your skills, expand your network, and potentially lead to future job opportunities.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
Job searches can be challenging and may take time. It’s important to stay positive, maintain self-belief, and persevere through any rejections or setbacks. Seek emotional support from friends, family, or support groups to stay motivated during the process.
I Need a Job Now: What To Do?
If you’re in immediate need of income, I would recommend finding a fast and flexible way to earn some money while you continue your job search.
Specifically, leveraging the gig economy can be a great way to earn some quick income in a way that’s flexible and enables you to continue searching for job. Driving for Uber, delivering for DoorDash, shopping for Instacart, and other opportunities of that nature can be fast and effective ways of generating an immediate income stream as you look for the right fit for a job.
Once you have some income coming in, you can continue to apply and interview for opportunities that are in your field and that serve as better long term fits for what you want to do.
If you’re feeling like it’s impossible to find a job, know that you’re not alone. The average job search process takes months and is filled with setback and rejections.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need money quickly, leverage the gig economy to stabilize your income. Once that has occurred, step back, reflect on your job search, and take the steps needed to make yourself the most attractive candidate possible.