The Job Hunt: Persistence does pay off
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Trade Jobs NSW and Randstad, however all words and thoughts are my own.
I applied for over 200 jobs in my six months of unemployment. Two hundred. To some people, that might sound like a small number. But when you think about the fact that I had to source 200 jobs, write individual cover letters for each and then follow up with as many of them as I could find a contact phone number for, it quickly becomes a proper part time job. I say part time because no, it wasn’t 9-5 Monday through Friday, but it was definitely half of every day. The other half was spent freelancing, pitching and generally trying to motivate myself to not give up entirely.
Sure, I had rough days, days where I turned on the television and moped around, ate an entire family block of Kit Kat because I was over it, because I couldn’t possibly write another job application. But the very next day, I’d get up and force myself back on the bandwagon. I was not going to let unemployment defeat me permanently, I was not going to become a full time burden on the system – this was a short blip in what would eventually be a successful career.
Motivating yourself to job hunt is hard and it gets harder the longer you’re unemployed, especially if you’re also worried about things like finances, your mental health and trying to block out the constant questions about why you’re unemployed, as if it’s some kind of life choice you made on a whim. Oh yes, I love the isolation of being home alone, with only daytime television and the online job listings to keep me company, it’s just the most joyous thing to wake up to every morning!
Of course, I also knew what I wanted. I narrowed my job fields to where I wanted to be, where I had trained to be and where I was qualified to be. This meant that while journalist/copywriting/communications roles were my focus, I would also apply for retail and childcare jobs. And yes, eventually the endless cycle of job application after job application ended, but not without a huge battle.
I got through with a hell of a lot of support from the people who love me most and my drive to be a successful writer one day.
But what about people who don’t know where they want to be? The churn is even harder. Is it enough to just have a job or do you need to find a job you love? Yes, I was one of the lucky ones, I knew what I wanted and I fought for it – but not everyone has as clear a picture as I did and they’re more likely to give up. This is where thinking outside the box pays off. That is to say, looking at new industries where you might not realise your skills are relevant, as well as trying things like submitting a coloured resume (mine is pink), handing in your resume physically or drawing attention to yourself by submitting a unique kind of resume.
Or you can do what I did, which is have a public whinge… But again, that relies on you knowing what you wanna do.
So if you don’t know what you want, have you thought about a trade? Specifically, have you thought about the mining industry? There’s hundreds of jobs calling on every skill set from drilling to communications. WA’s mining industry might be slowly winding down (although my mates’ salaries would beg to differ), but there several others around the country that are just heating up and hey, FIFO sounds like a pretty sweet lifestyle in my eyes. If you’re on the hunt for a job, maybe it’s worth a squizz…
Interested in a Trade Job in NSW’s mining industry? Click here for more.