Many people look at the latest unemployment numbers as a bellwether for economic recovery and more specifically how much longer their job search will have to go on. But unemployment numbers can be misleading. It is a combination of the number of unemployment claims filed, number of people receiving unemployment benefits, numbers of lay offs and the number of employers anticipated to hire. All that said, it doesn’t account for people who have exhausted unemployment benefits, do not receive unemployment benefits yet because of severance and those who have removed themselves from the job market. So even if the news appears favorable, I caution people not to use this information as an sole indicator of economic recovery.
I tell my job search clients that the sure fire way to shorten their job search and land the soonest is through sustainable, effective job search activity. What I see over the course of a job search is that job seekers fall into a pattern of busyness vs effectiveness. As the job search grinds on, they fail to sustain a level of effectiveness which is doing activities that make the biggest impact in getting hired. I start to see people letting up, because of course it’s the holidays. People will take entire weeks off of job search or revert to strictly surfing job boards which has a very low return on their investment of time.
So instead of looking to the umemployment numbers as an indication of how long a job search will last, look at your job search activities, make sure most of the time is spent on highly effective activities and sustain that level of productivity week after week, month after month, even during the summer, even during the holidays, and when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing. Because it is sustainability, not the unemployment numbers that is a much better bellwether as to how long a job search will last.