Job Search Burn-Out? Maybe You Need A ‘Breakthrough Moment’
With so many people looking for work and job searches taking longer than ever before, it’s easy for the process to get boring and job seekers of all ages and professions to burn out. But a so-called “breakthrough moment” – a specific time or tactic – can often change everything. To some it’s a wake-up call, an “ah ha!” revelation or a kick in the butt. The result can be transformational: a shift from down-and-out to ready to rock the world.
Here are four of my favorite examples.
My breakthrough moment came after losing my job and having a child at the same time. I first had low spirit, anger and felt like a victim. However, my passion is to own a business. So, I started grad school majoring in Business Management and open a business a year later. My motto is “If you can’t find a job create one.”
Looking for work through conventional channels yielded virtually no results for me, despite an advanced degree, professional certification, and many years of experience. What has worked for me is building a large number of meaningful personal relationships through volunteering. Volunteering to lead a committee for the local chapter of my field’s professional association led to a contract job. Volunteering to chair the literary society for parents at my kids’ school led to another contract opportunity as well as a part-time teaching position–a position that didn’t exist until I suggested it. In an economy like this, you have a better chance of success if you look for ways to create your own opportunities.
My breakthrough moment came after 6 months of searching for a Woman’s Health Nurse Practitioner job after relocating to California from Texas. I had posted resumes on every major job site, wrote physicians in the community and if I recieved calls they were over 100 miles per day commutes, had requirements for being fluent in spanish, or was just not the right fit for me. Just before I became really down at the end of the year, I refreshed my resumes on linkedin, and a few other networking sites and as of January 4th I have begsn recieving calls from employers in my location or close by had actual face-to-face interviews. So perserverance and networking is the key, keep looking at the resumes you have posted and keep working on them until they portray your skills, and network, network ,network every where you go, the nail shop, church, professional nursing sites and conferences and on linkedin. You never know, how your next employer will get your resume. Two potential employers told me they were forwared my resume by a friend,or colleague. My perserverance paid off and I am finally employed in the type of position I was seeking.
I have been looking for a job for quite a while with very little luck. My breakthrough moment came when I decided going out on my own and working as an independent contractor would fit my needs and would benefit companies too. I put together a proposal for a company I have had a relationship with for a couple of years. The CEO agreed with my analysis, was intrigued by adding a contract position and hired me on the spot. Not only do I get to do something I love, I am making the money I need and I have the flexibility to handle family obligations. I would normally not put myself out there like that. I am really proud of myself and excited to start this new opportunity.
Seeking employment out of work now for 19 months, I have submitting my resume all over and nothing. I am interested in an Administrative/Clerical position in New York
At almost-60, I’ve had a long and eventful journey through the job market. Some young people have a strong sense of purpose and a dream—a recent immigrant, I did not have a clue. I loved art, but it was considered neither lucrative nor academic enough in my family.
So, I meandered. I worked in a discount bra department, a clerk at a financial firm. While studying cultural anthropology in college, I worked at the post office. After graduation, it was sales at a comic book store, then data entry and computer programming.
I became an art assistant at a discount department store where I organized clothing samples for artists and sized their line drawings for photography. Across the room, artists were preparing boards for printing and I longed to trade my desk for a drawing table.
The company went into chapter 11, I was given a t-square and laid off. I taught myself layout and design and worked my way up to senior art director. After nine years, during an executive upheaval, I left.
Back on the job market, web was hot, print was not. Offered a teaching job at a junior college. I took it as a temporary solution. After nine years of teaching, I can tell my students who are often trying to better themselves and look at their upcoming job searches with trepidation that this unplanned for opportunity has given me a chance to grow as a professional, and as a human being, that I never anticipated. What’s more, teaching a very multi-cultural group of students, has made my cultural anthropology training relevant. The MFA I had gotten (in figurative painting!) along the way helped me segueway into a full-time position and to gain seniority.
Now, my school has closed and I’m looking again. I know it will be challenging, and that I will face a lot of rejection but I am looking forward to the next exciting chapter. As the Rolling Stones sang: “You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes you might find / You get what you need.”