When you’re juggling resumes, cover letters, your full-time job and new job applications all at once, how can you stay focused and organized in your job search? Michael Horenstein found himself struggling to maintain focus and keeping his schedule free of unexpected interruptions. With a seemingly endless list of tasks on your to-do list to find a job, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged. Read Michael’s story to discover how he overcame this challenge, utilized new tools, and persevered in his job search.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
Currently, I document software for Intek Integration Services, a developer of warehouse inventorying and supply chain execution (SCE) software.
How long did it take you to find this job?
Let’s just say many months, although I had a few short-term contract jobs in the interim.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
I found my job through a not-well-known feature of LinkedIn (LI) called “ProFinder,” where registrants are notified via LinkedIn and emailed freelance/contract opportunities that fit their interests. Prospective clients looking for candidates can post a brief but structured RFP that you, as the job seeker, can respond to ASAP in no more than 1500 characters. I thought this process was very much like writing a targeted cover letter.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
I had a number of them, but I think one of the most difficult ones was staying organized and on focus, even with participating in activities that related to my job search, e.g., attending networking events. My schedule often seemed to be nonlinear and unpredictable in that going to a meeting (sometimes spontaneously) would interrupt a job application process, which, in turn, would interrupt my composing a thank-you note to a prospective employer or info interviewee, and so on. This too-often induced feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed, especially when I realized that many of these activities, regrettably, did not lead to meaningful connections, e.g., unreturned messages, absence of job offers.
I don’t know that I completely overcame these challenges, but with no other choice but to remain persistent and be open to new, outside, and/or unconventional approaches to my job hunt such as using LinkedIn ProFinder and attending targeted MeetUp groups (which I started doing mostly in the last couple of years).
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
In addition to those I just listed above, I would advise seekers to maintain good personal health, including ample exercise, eating right, and getting adequate sleep.
Why do you love your job?
I’ve only been doing this job for less than a month, so I can’t say that I love it yet. If it extends beyond the initial 6-8 months that I’ve been told would likely be the minimum duration, I can envision potential tasks and responsibilities that would make my current role more exciting and challenging.