3 Things I Learnt From My Job Search Experience

Bored and scared. That’s how I felt during my four weeks of unemployment. I had just resigned from my previous job in financial services recruitment, looking for a career change into Human Resources. I thought that given my background of helping others find jobs, I should have the skills and knowledge to make my job search experience a smooth transition period. I was definitely not prepared for how difficult the process proved to be!

Days of non-stop trawling through job boards trying to find a) an entry level position that b) did not require Cantonese skills proved to be a disappointing and disheartening process. The fact that it was Chinese New Year holidays and the job market was dead quiet as a result did not help either. I soon found myself questioning whether my home of Hong Kong was the right place for me anymore.

At this point of feeling anxious about my future in the city, I began wandering around JobsDB and desperately applying for entry-level positions even remotely related to HR. Being the type of person who needs to keep themselves busy to avoid insanity, I was prepared to take an interim job that wasn’t directly aligned with my long term career goals.

I eventually ended up applying and interviewing for positions that were clearly inappropriate for my aspirations. After being made offers for two of such positions, I reassessed what I was looking for and couldn’t bring myself to accept.

I soon received a call from Hiring Screen who had intercepted one of my applications, who proceeded to tell me how crazy I was applying for a role completely unsuitable for my experience. Thankfully, I was instead offered a position in Human Resources, and here I am today! Now that’s a job search experience!

With hindsight, all of the time I wasted searching, applying and interviewing for irrelevant positions could have been avoided with a few simple steps:

1) Focus on what you really want to be doing

Have a good think about what you’re good at and enjoy doing, and the environment that you work best in. It’s a waste of your time applying and interviewing for jobs that you don’t really want.

2) Take time to plan

Consider which job searching channels will work best for you considering your experience and skill set. Don’t be afraid to directly approach your contacts on LinkedIn, you never know what vacancies may be available!

3) If you’re going to panic, do it productively

Rather than having your panic fuel your directionless applications, use the energy productively to focus on your job search experience. Stay motivated and keep your head up – good things come to those who wait!

 

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