What To Do When You Don’t Want To Apply To Any Jobs

Don't want to apply for any jobs?

One of the most common obstacles job seekers face is not knowing how to get started.

If you’ve been in the same position for a quite awhile, or if you find yourself at a professional crossroads, knowing which positions to apply for next can be a real challenge.

So what happens then when you go to your favorite job search site day after day and find that nothing you’re seeing looks worth applying for?

Most people think the answer is to wait until the right job appears. I say…not so much.

Today, I’m sharing some alternative strategies so that you can move your job search forward, even if you’re not super excited about the kinds of positions you’re seeing available in your hometown.

#1 Take your job search offline.

If you’re not finding lots of jobs the year to apply to (or even willing to apply to),  consider taking your job search offline for a week or two.

It can be really demoralizing to reload LinkedIn and indeed.com, day after day, hour after hour, and not find something that you’re looking for.  It makes the job search feel all the more daunting.

The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do that don’t require job postings.

This is a great time to reach out to the people in your network, including friends, family, and former colleagues to let them know that you’re on the hunt! Spend some time reflecting on the work that you’ve done and where you’d like to go next so that you can share a concise message of what it is that you’re looking for with some of the people who know you best.

It’s also an opportunity to research specific companies by going on to their website, reading bios of their employees, and perhaps reaching out to people doing interesting work by sending an email. 

#2 Stop waiting for the perfect job

My clients that they take their work seriously. They’re ambitious and creative and they want work that is fun, interesting and challenging.

Honestly, it can be pretty difficult to determine a good job from a bad job or from a great job by job postings alone.

When we’re not seeing job postings that lights up and excite us, it might also mean that we set some unrealistic expectations.

A boring job could have great benefits a supportive team and room for growth.

A position that’s a bit junior for your experience could provide a great work-life balance and the chance to contribute your skills in a new environment.

The job that sounds like a perfect match on paper might mean the world’s worst boss.

Unfortunately, it can be really hard to know a good opportunity unless you apply and get the chance to learn more about the opportunity.

A really simple way to check your expectations is to start writing jobs on a scale of 1 to 10.   

Anything between a 1 and a 3 would be considered the worst jobs ever.  Anything between 5 and 7 would be considered reasonable these will be jobs that have some great perks but weren’t ideal for one reason or another.

Make a commitment to apply for jobs that look or sound like they would be a 5 or above.

#3 Trust yourself to make the right decisions

Okay, guys listen up. This one’s important.

When we’re not taking action in honor of our goals,  there’s always a reason.

Sometimes that reason is there aren’t enough jobs where we live.  Or the door and the right jobs where we live. Or  that we don’t want to make too many concessions in our professional life.

But sometimes the reasons we don’t take action in our career goals has nothing to do with the supply of jobs around us.

If you’re in a job where you’re unhappy, mistreated, undervalued, overworked,  and/or underpaid,  I bet you’re concerned about ending up in another job just as bad or worse than the one you have now.

These sorts of underlying fears drive our inaction.

The best way to fix a career gone awry is simply to spend plenty of time assessing what’s not working now and what you’ll  look for in the future instead.

Burn out jobs are part of the process.  They are there to teach us about our limits and boundaries and to give us a breadth of experience that we can use in many other settings.

Increase your confidence by spending time thinking about what you’ve learned, how your values have changed, and how you can honor that in your next position.

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3 thoughts on “What To Do When You Don’t Want To Apply To Any Jobs

  1. I would add 1 more task or addendum to taking your search offline. Try to look at your skills and how they truly match up to the job you want. Perhaps there are some wholes or gaps.
    Take steps to fill those while you’re looking. This could be a class on a topic you need some more experience or details about- hey there’s a reason “fake it til you make it works”, Sign up. Need to show your stuff to gain more attention – write “thought leadership” articles (1- 1-1/2 pages) that help you walk the walk. (Don’t know how -set up informational interviews with those that do.)
    All of these are things that are still getting you to your end goal, but aren’t “traditional” search activities. – I know they are working for me. 🙂

    1. Yes! I love the idea of filling gaps while you’re looking. Even if you don’t develop an expertise, you can demonstrate being self motivated, taking initiative and a basic understanding while you grow. Thanks, Kris!

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