Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Can't Stop Searching For Jobs!

I just got back from spending the holidays with my in-laws. I'm really lucky to have great in-laws; I've heard some crazy stories from friends. Overall, the trip was a lot of fun but I am glad to be back to my "work."

Right before I left I had a little relapse of my work/not work conundrum, this happens about every other month and whenever this happens I go onto the internet job search boards and I "search for jobs." I find any job that remotely meets my qualifications and I start to apply, I rework my resume, write some cover letters, and so on.

It is no easy task. I spend hours doing it and end up only submitting like three applications but it makes me feel like I am still there, in the job market, going up against my competition. It usually doesn't get me anywhere; according to "What Color is Your Parachute: (2007)" only "4-10%" of people find jobs this way, but it makes me feel better and I think this process is beneficial for a couple of reasons.

4 Reasons to Search for a Job while on a Career Break

1. Job Awareness

Looking over job boards can give you a great broad range perspective about the types of positions that are available. Consistently taking time to just look over the job titles, locations, details can tell you so much about the market and what to expect when you return. You might notice that full time positions are being dwarfed by the amount of part time or temporary positions available. You might note that entry level accounting jobs seem to be drying up but their is an abundance of availability for CPAs, (time for me to finally buckle down and take the test!) You might also note certain companies that might be trending, which could be helpful in developing your network. Reviewing the types of jobs that are being posted can help you be strategic when it comes to planning for your career re-entry.

2. Skills/Qualification Awareness

I just couldn't resist...
Reading job descriptions can provide you with important information about the skills and qualifications that are in demand. This can be a great resource for finding some employable activities to work on during your career break. In one of the positions I applied for it said "knowledge of Quickbooks preferred but not required." I'm not really up-to-date on my Quickbooks but it's a really common skill for those working in finance and accounting. It would certainly be to my advantage to take a class at our local library or community college to become as fluent as my competition.

3. Resume Updating

The only time you think about updating your resume is when you are looking for a job and if you aren't planning on looking for a job for the next, say - ten years, well you will certainly forget all of the great employable activities that have been keeping you busy. This is just a great way to keep a running record of all of your experiences and then down the line you wont be stuck trying to use resume wizard to come with something from scratch last minute. 

4. Interview Practice

So what if you apply for a job and get an interview!? GO! Getting called in for an interview is a great way to keep your interviewing skills from getting rusty, plus, there is no stress on your end since you aren't trying to bank the job. It can also be a great way to meet contacts within the company (i.e. - network!) that can help you find a position in the future. Lastly, you could possibly learn about an awesome job that you wouldn't have otherwise considered (and maybe your calling is go back to work sooner than expected.) Just make sure you attend the interview with some genuine interest, you don't want to waste the company's time.

Overall, job searching can be a great way to help you stay employable while on a career break. I'm going to use it to help me pick out some employable action items that I keep talking about: look forward to it in a future post.