Five Things I Learned From Applying for 200+ Jobs

How is applying to 200+ jobs brave?

2017 was the toughest year of my life. I quit a toxic job in April, one that literally gave me nightmares and migraines and white hairs. My father died on June 23 of complications from throat cancer. My extended family live in the Orlando area, so not being able to pay rent found me sleeping on a living room couch by August 1st.

I don’t have answers, just perspective.

This post is entirely subjective. And I acknowledge that my U.S. citizenship, three advanced degrees, ten years of work experience, etc. are factors that play into my job history and my experiences with applying.

1) Job applying is lonely work.

This year I frequently heard/read that it’s normal for a job search in the U.S. to take 4–6 months. Literally you are in an apartment, a bedroom, a local Starbucks by yourself for weeks on end. You miss birthday dinners and summer blockbusters because you have $3.76 in your bank account (and don’t think it’s a good idea to incur credit card debt when you have no income just to see Wonder Woman on a large screen).

2) Interviewers are subjective.

Anyone who talks like they aren’t is lying. Every office has politics. It’s human.

3) People will waste your time.

With no shame or remorse. Their main concern is solving their own problem. Doesn’t make them evil, just human. One person courted me for a month, saying a new position would open up soon. This person even e-mailed me the job description for my review so as to tailor the role to my skill set.

4) You may need to switch fields.

Notice I didn’t say disciplines. If you have invested thousands upon thousands in your degree and most of your work experience is in a certain role, don’t switch.

5) Be willing to do what others won’t.

You likely have also heard or read this a million times, but here’s what it means specific to applying for more than 200 jobs in one year.

Bonus lesson.

I suspected the whole time that applicant tracking systems are awful and counterproductive. They can actually prevent good hires from happening (no offense to iCIMS, Taleo, and all the rest). But the proof is in the pudding. My pudding is LinkedIn.

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