There have been many times during my unemployment where I’ve read articles and self-help posts on how to apply for jobs or what to do for resumés and cover letters in hopes of unlocking the “secret” to landing a job in my desired field. Some were helpful while others…mmm….not so much…and are border line impractical. Like who really has time to rewrite an entire cover letter for EVERY position they apply to? To each his own, but even without a job, I still ain’t got time for that! Bruh!
I understand why “experts” of the job hunt view this as a numbers game but what I don’t like about all of this “expert” knowledge is that it builds up expectations. You expect to reap the very results they promote as a product of applying their advice. What’s interesting is that these expectations are not solely from the end of me and my unemployed tribe, but also our family and friends who lend their advice to us regarding our job search.
My favorite is when someone asks me about my job hunt and then suggests something so basic as if before their “bright idea”, I was at home watching old episodes of Flavor Of Love. *Le sigh* If it were that easy to get a job, don’t you think I would have been doing that like the day before yesterday or better yet, been employed?! Sometimes the advice given is not even something that they personally tried in their job search, but yet they still expect you to yield something, otherwise there is something wrong with you.
I am guilty for being one of those people at one point that lended advice with some type of expectation for it to work for the other person. You give the advice, see no results after months (sometimes only weeks) and then rather than question the effectiveness of the advice for that person’s particular situation, we question how much that person is applying themselves. Before my unemployment, I never understood how someone could apply to hundreds of jobs in a couple of months and receive barely any call backs, especially with how long and tedious applications can get. I thought it was impossible. Now, after becoming unemployed, several hundred of applications under my belt and less than a handful of callbacks (for positions that are actually relevant to my search), it all seems too easy to come by.
I’ve even taken it a step further and paid for professional help on my resume, been referred several times by friends and even strangers for positions within their companies, gone to career fairs and sought help from recruitment agencies among other things. Now, I don’t want you thinking that because I am still unemployed that if you do any of these things that you will not come out successful because that is NOT true. These things were of help to me to some degree and can be of help to anyone but there needs to be a lot less faith in these self-help tips and more faith in God’s timing with the understanding that your unemployment journey will be unique to YOU!
Unemployment is not a one-size-fits-all situation so let’s do our unemployed selves and friends who are unemployed a favor and stop treating it as such. The advice and help is appreciated but the expectations are not. Let this season play out the way God wants it to for us and as we wait, let’s encourage the perspective and personal growth to come in this season.
Until next time loves!