Is it Time To Stop Your Job Search?
We all know people who have been job hunting for more than a year; some have been out of work for two years. As these job searches stretch on people repeatedly wonder, "what are my options?"
Here are a few:
Contract. As the economy slowly improves, companies will need more people but might not want to take on full-timers. This is your opportunity to get a consulting contract with the company that let you go (and others just like it) and make two to four times the hourly rate you made as an employee. You'll have to cover your own health insurance and you won't get any corporate benefits, but there are benefits to being on your own. You can have multiple clients (which gives you networking opportunities and a different kind of stability), a flexible schedule, and the ability to turn down jobs that you know will be more trouble than they're worth (try doing that as an employee!). Check out Pamela Slim's blog and book, Escape from Cubicle Nation, to learn more.
Downsize. Downsize your house (I know, it's hard to sell a house right now), sell a car, sell other stuff on eBay and lower your monthly expenses. This opens up opportunities because you don't have to hold out for the largest salary possible. Instead of looking exclusively for an executive level job, for example, you might consider regular, professional jobs and wind up with more opportunities to interview.
Take time off. Seriously. This only works if you are in a financial position to do so. If you are, travel, volunteer at non-profits or pursue a passion like writing or woodworking. It's easy to get caught up in a job search and then get bogged down in rejection, forgetting the value that you can bring to the table. Pursuing these other things will make you feel capable, which will translate into confidence when you do start job-hunting again. (See How Volunteering Landed Me a Job.)
Create jobs. Perhaps what you should be doing is bigger than consulting. Perhaps you need to scrape together some funding (from friends, family, your 401k or outside investors) and start the business that you've been thinking about for years. It's scary and risky, but remember, every company that is successful now started out with a founder who had fears and took risks.
Not everyone wants to be their own boss. Some people love the office environment and perceived stability. But others just need permission to pursue something bigger in life. Read about Thom Singer's pursuit here.