A Never Ending Job Hunting Cycle

30 Jul

Job hunting seems to be never-ending cycle.

In my experience the job hunting cycle goes something like this:

1) Relief – being offered a job
2) Joy – enjoying the new job
3) Worry – uncertainty of what next and when best to start looking for the next job
4) Panic – over the lack of jobs to apply for and the lack of response to applications submitted
5) Suspense – waiting to hear back applications and interviews

I don’t know for sure, but based on some loose assumptions, it seems that fixed term work and short-term contracts are the employment situation faced by many new professionals (and all job seekers at the moment!).  These opportunities are great as they mean lots of variety in the early stages of a career but job security can be a big disadvantage.

Jobcentre Plus by J J Ellison

When I was at library school stressing about finding a job, I somewhat naively thought that once I was employed the worry about job hunting would end. Since graduating and finding a job I’ve discovered that the worry doesn’t go away. At least not for those who only secure employment on a fixed term contract.

To give some background to my employment situation I started job hunting about halfway through the MA course.  I didn’t plan on looking so early but I found myself caught up in the general panic and stress of my peers about the job market. After a lot of disappointment and panic about unsuccessful applications over the summer during my dissertation I was offered a job the day after handing in my dissertation. Perfect timing but there is always a catch with a great situation.

Initially I was only employed on a 6 month contract so not long after starting I found myself worrying about what my next job would be and more importantly when I should start looking for it. Unfortunately my job hunting was fruitless, but fortunately I was kept on for another 6 months. Having another 6 months of work lined up was a huge relief but in light of the failure of my previous job hunting efforts, it was not long before I started to worry about finding another job.  A new opportunity arose at work that I was able to apply for meaning I am now contracted until the end of 2012.  Time seems to be rapidly passing however and job hunting is once again on my mind.

For now I’m able to focus my job seeking efforts on opportunities that fit with my interests and aspirations as I’ve got the security of a job until the end of the year. However  I’m dreading December appearing out of nowhere and being in a position where I haven’t been able to find the next job move that I really want, and needing to resort to the apply for anything and everything approach which is not ideal.  I’m not specifically looking for a permanent position although I’m starting to think that a break from the worry about where the next job will come from could be quite nice.

I hate job hunting.

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7 Responses to “A Never Ending Job Hunting Cycle”

  1. Annie July 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    And within the stage of applying for jobs there’s the additional cycle of worry over lack of jobs, stress/frustration of writing applications, suspense, panic when you get an interview at short notice, disappointment. Such fun!

  2. Nicola Franklin July 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Although being constantly in ‘job hunting mode’ is undoubtedly stressful, you are definitely doing the right thing by applying early. As a recruiter I’ve too often come across people who say ‘no I’d rather not apply for that contract (or even permanent!) job at the moment because I’m in a temp job’. This has always baffled me, particularly deciding not to apply for a permanent post simply because someone is in a temporary (ie hourly paid) job or fixed term contract. Having some loyalty to your current employer is laudable, but when you have little or no job security there is nothing wrong in looking out for your own future. It may be that some do not realise the time it can take to find a new role – it can easily be months rather than weeks, especially in the current difficult market, so I would always advise beginning your job hunt almost as soon as you begin a 6 month contract!

    • theatregrad July 31, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to get a recruiters perspective on this topic, and good to hear that I’m doing to right thing by starting to look for new opportunities now. For one thing I wouldn’t want to miss out on potential longer term/permanent opportunities by not keeping an eye on the job market. Job hunting does indeed take a lot of time and effort, especially in this difficult job market, so I will not be leaving it until the last minute as starting the new year without an job would not be good for those January blues!

  3. Siobhan July 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    This is so familiar, I’m currently doing 3 4 and 5, as I have six weeks left of my graduate traineeship and nothing to go onto after that. I don’t think I’ve been doing anything wrong, I’ve just been unlucky, sadly that just makes it harder.

    • theatregrad July 31, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Sadly you are probably right. Although it probably wouldn’t hurt to get some advice about your cv/application forms/interview technique if you can and haven’t done so already. The job market is extremely competitive at the moment so perhaps you are just having some bad luck. I think it is common for people to meet all the required criteria for a job but not get it because many other applicants are just as good. Last year I lost count of the applications I sent off before I got an interview. Probably doesn’t help that more experienced new professionals who have been to library school already are applying for library assistant level jobs because there isn’t much else to apply for. Good luck and I hope you find something soon.

  4. woodsiegirl August 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Ugh, I know exactly what you mean! And I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t necessarily change if you get a permanent job. I’m in a permanent job now, and have been for 18 months, but as there’s been two rounds of redundancies since I’ve been here (thankfully neither affected the info services team, but you never know…) I’ve continued to keep my CV polished and keep an eye out for other opportunities. I haven’t applied for other jobs, and I probably wouldn’t unless something really amazing came up, but knowing that there could well be more redundancies in the future, and that I might not be so lucky a third time, means that I’ve never really taken off my job-hunting hat!

    • theatregrad August 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Very sensible approach. Keeping up to date with your CV and reviewing your skill set is no doubt a wise approach even when in a permanent position.

      I imagine many people get complacent when in the relative security of a permanent job situation, meaning that should it come to an end it is more of a struggle to put the job hunting hat back on. I will try not to sit back and relax completely should I find permanent employment. Still a break from the immediate impending doom of unemployment on the horizon would be quite nice.

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