Clarify Expectations for Your Job Search

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Growing up, my good friend frequently offered two words of advice that seemed to work for most any situation. The advice? “Clarify expectations.” Think about it – how many problems would be prevented if only the parties had set up specific expectations prior to engaging in whatever caused friction or hurt feelings? Letting everyone know what to expect – upfront – is a great problem-preventing strategy.

So, why am I telling you about my friend? I think his advice works well for job seekers.

Clarifying expectations for your job hunt will solve you countless
problems and needless anxiety.

Clarify how long you expect to search for a job. In the old days, the figure that was tossed around was to expect to search one month for every $10,000 in salary. So, if you are hoping to earn $80,000 – expect an 8-month search.

The fact is, there is no specific data that indicate how long it will take to find a job. Everyone’s situation is unique.

While hiring a resume writer or coach will most likely shorten your search, and focusing your hunt in productive areas (networking) and avoiding time drains (zapping tons of resumes online) will help, there’s no hard data on the subject.

So, you are kind of on your own here. Assuming you need to find a job, the choice factor mostly pertains to holding out for the “right” job. Maybe you have opportunities to take positions for less money than you’d like, or jobs that are not as interesting or challenging, but you want to hold out as long as possible for a job you’d appreciate.

Think about this…What is your time line? What is your financial situation?

How long can you wait before you will need to take a job – any job?

Be clear with yourself – and realistic with your expectations. Most people probably won’t be able to pick up their dream job in a month, but maybe your network is so evolved and your job hunting skills so well trained that you can meet that deadline. Your search will be more productive if you know how long you’ll allow yourself to hunt. You may be less stressed after one or two months if you’ve recognized and clarified the fact that you expect your search to take 6 months or more.

Stay tuned for more tips about how clarifying expectations will help you in your job hunt.

Keppie Careers is here to help you meet your expectations. Do you need a great resume? Tips to get you through the day? Contact us: www.keppiecareers.com

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2 Responses to “Clarify Expectations for Your Job Search”


  1. 1 Peter Fisher June 6, 2008 at 3:15 am

    You’re absolutely right to say that people’s expectations should be realistic, but I think more emphasis should be placed on the positive things that people can do – such as networking, researching unadvertised jobs and working on their interview techniques.

  2. 2 Miriam Salpeter June 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Peter – Thanks for stopping by and for your comment! I totally agree that a positive, proactive approach is best…I’ve often blogged on the impact of positive thinking on a job hunt, and I can’t say enough about networking and preparation! I don’t think a positive approach and a realistic set of expectations are mutually exclusive, though. In fact, I think they go hand-in-hand! I hope to “see” you here again!


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