How Long Does a Job Search Take?

Anxiety and frustration are common among people in job transition, especially if the transition was unplanned and not of their choosing.  Bills, mortgage payments and college tuition are looming, they need to get a job fast. Preparing to launch a search and enter into the job market takes time, especially if they want to do it right and give themselves the best chance of landing not just any job but the right job for them.  Adding to the frustration is the fact that they are at the mercy of the opportunities availed in the job market and the pace of hiring by the employers. Here are some general time lines to keep in mind as you prepare for a job search.

1. Time to job placement is shortest if you are seeking the same kind of job in a same or similar industry.  This is not to say you can’t change industries or broaden your objective to other things, it will just take longer to find and land that job.

2. Resumes take time to create and update to ensure they are a competitive document and best represent you.  With the help of a professional the average time it takes for a resume is anywhere from 3-6 hours.  For people who tackle them on their own it takes 2-3x that amount of time and alot of angst.

3. Developing and launching a job search game plan can take up to 30 days in order to get all the pieces in place and become crisp with your approach and messaging for both networking and interviewing.

4. The time it takes for an employer to make an offer depends on the number of interviews in the process.  From time of initial pre screening, through a series of interviews, reference checks, background checks and sometimes pre employment testing it can take an average of 5 weeks to 3 months.  That is why it is prudent to have a number of opportunities in the pipeline.  Never chase just one.

5. For those who want to take the time to explore other career options, the assessment and discovery process can take up to 6 months.  Changing career direction is no small undertaking.  It requires an investment of time and energy.  The good news is that most people have education and work experience to draw from.  But expecting this part of the process to happen quickly is unrealistic.

So the best way for job seekers to manage the anxiety of the job search is to understand the amount of time typically required in the process.  Putting more than 35-40 hrs/ week into a search doesn’t necessarily make it go quicker it just makes you busier and more frustrated.

 

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