I am authoring a series of blog posts to detail my job search in hopes that I can demonstrate how I put into practice the techniques that I have espoused during the past two years of writing this blog. In my most recent entries, I shared how I created and communicated with a trusted group of advisers and then began applying to opportunities. Today, I want to focus on a topic all too familiar to those in a job search – the Waiting Game.
A year ago, I penned a post discussing the phenomenon of how the timeline of the candidate and employer are usually at odds. At a time when the applicant wants a speedy process, the employer moves too slowly for the candidate. Then, at a time when the candidate would like the process to move more slowly, it seems like the employer is moving quickly. While engrossed in my search, I felt this phenomenon; a furry of activity followed by a lull of nothing, followed by another flurry of activity.
In reality, the process was fairly fast. I went back and looked over my application and email communication dates and realized that the process went much more quickly than I felt it did. As I mentioned in a previous post, I applied to six opportunities beginning in late-February (there was one application in late January). Between the end of February and the middle of March, I applied to four open positions and added a fifth application in the beginning of April. As part of my application process for each position, I researched each opportunity and personalized the application, followed-up with an email or call to contacts at the target employer or with the recruiter trying to put my best foot forward. This was a time intensive process as I was still working full-time. The flurry of activity seemed even more intense as the majority of the action took place over the course of two weeks.
What followed was a lull of activity. After two straight weeks of working, coming home and researching and applying, arranging calls during lunch hours, completing online applications, etc. the slowdown of activity felt like it lasted for two months. In truth, it lasted about 3 weeks. By early April, I was beginning to hear back from schools with offers of phone/skype screening interviews. Still, I had to stay busy during that two/three-week lull. During this time, I kept my “Board of Trustees” updated to my activity, I continued to search for additional openings that would be of interest (I did find one during that period) and I began my research and prep for possible interviews. Additionally, I pressed the gas a bit at work to ensure that I was not seen as slacking off – I wanted to ensure there were no signs that my attention was focused elsewhere.
The waiting period between applications and interview offers can be unsettling. Knowing it is going to happen and finding the best use of your time (researching, continue searching for opportunities, interview prep, etc.) can make this time more productive. Instead of coasting, this is the time to make a push at your current job and prepare for the next flurry of activity as it will come.
Next: The Flurry of Activity