Let’s face it, searching for a job, especially when you don’t have one can be one of the most emotionally draining experiences there is. I remember, in 2009, I returned home to Ireland after travelling across Australia and South East Asia to find the country entering the greatest recession faced in recent history. I had no idea that my job search over the next eight months would be one of the toughest times of my life.
I was optimistic at the beginning; I decided to treat my job search very much like a job, I started at 09.00, had a lunch break and finished at 17.30. I defined my brand and marketing material, I created a plan of action, had a schedule and created a tracker for all activity. I was ready and pumped to take on my unemployment and was hopeful and optimistic for the future.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and with every application complete, email sent and telephone call made, my energy, enthusiasm and optimism slowly left me, being replaced by negativity, despair and worst of all carelessness.
Where once every job specification was carefully analysed, every CV sent tailored to each specific role and organisation; it was replaced by blanket/faceless templates, careless grammar mistakes and an unfortunate lack of respect for my skills, abilities and potential worth. This wasn’t something that was planned or even noticed to be honest, but I had reached a real low and I could see no light at the end of the tunnel.
What I know now that I didn’t know then is that this lack of quality, this lack of care or pride in my interactions is something that simply cannot be allowed to happen. Although I had sent hundreds of emails, made who knows how many calls, each time I reached out to an organisation, each time I engaged an individual, it was my first impression with them. They didn’t know me or my struggle and frankly it was not their problem. They just saw my lack of effort, energy, enthusiasm and passion for the opportunity and their organisation.
I know it’s tough, I know there will be times that you simply want to scream, but always remember the next call or the next application sent could be the one. Never falter on the quality of your communications throughout your job search. Ensure you are representing yourself at the same level with everything you do. Never send anything that you are not happy with and always ensure that you finish each day; head high, confident it was a day’s work to be proud of.