Realistic Expectations – Career Development Partners

During your job search you will have to step out of your comfort zone and research various details and make many decisions. The job search process can be filled with many ups and downs, especially if your expectations are unrealistic.

Here are the things to consider:

There is no magic pill or quick fix

It would be nice if an efficient job search consisted of an expected series of steps that led to satisfactory work. That’s just not the case. The needs of each require a different job and the job market is constantly changing. Your approach should be tailored to your needs and goals. Your approach should make the most of your personality, while committing to specific minimum standards you will achieve on a daily basis.

Your job search will be a roller coaster

Only in exceptional circumstances does someone simply apply for the first job he identifies and receive a job offer. More often it is a long series of ups and downs, promises and rejections, excitement and boredom. Expect some ups and downs and know that it’s normal when you go on a job search roller coaster.

Plan for the long term and commit to an open process with ongoing activity. Think of your job search as a journey – with lots of inquiries, detours and possible obstacles. You will be smarter and stronger for any wrong turn. Learn to focus on the goal, not the bad turn or recent rejection you may have faced.

Uncertainty is a given

Perhaps the most stressful aspect is the new sense of uncertainty that accompanies the process. You do not know if you are making enough effort, doing the right things, how long the journey will take, etc. You are also helpless to factors beyond your control. Commit to a certain number of hours and actions you will perform each day to give yourself the best chance of finding a job.

Use the experts and seek help

You are not a professional interviewer, resume writer or in many cases you are not a professional salesman. One of the most important contributions to any successful job search is the assistance you receive from friends, associates, family members and professional counselors.

They can help you on two levels:

  • In managing your job search strategies, for example:
    • Continue preparation
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    • Organize your search
    • Mastery of the art of interviewing
  • In your network efforts. Often these people can make valuable connections for you, open doors or provide you with leads.

The most important point here is that you allow yourself to be open and willing to receive assistance and advice at the top of your priorities – and not to think that this is a personal and private matter.

Most of the job search took longer than expected

You want your search to end as quickly as possible – and in some cases this may be possible. However, your search is more likely to last for a significant amount of time.

The more effort – the faster the ride

It is important to set a realistic pace for your job search. You will need to spend quite a bit of time in the beginning as you prepare for the process (preparation stage), once you are defined you need to decide how much time you want to spend in your job search each day.

If you are not working, your job search is your full time job. If you work, you should devote at least ten hours a week to your job search.

Your attitude will affect your results

If you think you may or may not be successful in your job search, you are right! If you are confident in the way you present yourself, you will be seen as motivated and capable – of course characteristics that will be noticed and requested by the recruiting authorities.

There is no perfect job

You may decide to wait for the perfect job, especially if your job search takes longer than expected. It is wise to understand that there is no such thing as the perfect job. Focus instead on finding your way to an ideal job, one that employs your interests, utilizes your skills and abilities and aligns with your values. It is important that you have realistic expectations to maintain a high mood and limit frustration.

Does job security even exist?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Your next job will not be the last job you will have. Nothing is forever, and change is constant. Your only job security is to constantly learn new skills, improve your experience and improve your marketability. Commit to a lifetime of learning because the only job security you have is are you!

Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition

Rick has been a career counselor for almost 30 years, and serves a very wide and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consulting at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is to coach people through career transitions, developing career management strategies and identifying and honing skills to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have helped thousands of people reach their full potential.

Contact Rick at:


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