Managing Your Job Search Expectations

June 27, 2019

While we always encourage pursuing one’s dreams and swinging for the fences, we also know that when it comes to your job search, having unrealistic expectations can lead you down the wrong path.  We find that too many times, candidates cause themselves disappointment and misery because they have unrealistic expectations when applying for jobs. Yes, it’s true you need to aim high, but aiming too high can just lead to a longer time of being unemployed or searching for a new job.

Many people we work with will have a number of reasonable criteria they will be looking for when considering changing jobs.  These include added responsibility, career growth opportunities, a collaborative work environment and a reasonable raise.  However, sometimes we come across those who have a lengthy list of requirements and want each of them met when they move to a new employer.

The reality is, if you are seriously considering changing jobs, having lengthy demands will do nothing but prolong your job search. With this in mind, here are our tips for managing your job search expectations.

1. It is unrealistic to think that you will apply for one job, secure an interview and be offered the position. The hiring process takes time, and this is why it is important to pursue several job opportunities at one time.  Further, seeing multiple opportunities allows you to see what actually exists in the market and will force you to realize how likely you are to get everything you are asking for.

2. Know the market.  Know the salary for your years of experience and area of law. If you work in private practice, don’t compare your salary and benefits to someone who works in-house.  Expecting the same type of compensation will only leave you disappointed.  Know what firms are looking for and what is in demand.  

3. Come to terms with what you can do without. Rank which of your criteria you need to have in a new job and which things would be nice to have – but you are ultimately comfortable living without. 

4. Apply to jobs which you have relevant experience for. Having 2 years of experience and only wanting to apply to Supervisory positions within national law firms, will leave you job searching for a very long time and will most likely only end in frustration.

Replacing unrealistic job search expectations with realistic ones, will give you your best shot at a successful job search. This means that you need to realize finding a job takes time, and that sometimes you will need to be flexible about some of your search requirements. Finally, remember that persistence is essential, and you’ll need to be consistent about following up on inquiries and interview outcomes.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions or would like to discuss what the job market presently looks like and how realistic your job search is, feel free to call or email us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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