If you're job search is taking longer than you hoped, it's probably not going as poorly as you think.
The poll results and what they mean
Here are the official results of the poll:
How long have you been job searching?
- More than a year (35%, 68 Votes)
- 6-12 months (22%, 43 Votes)
- Just started this past month (16%, 30 Votes)
- 1-3 months (15%, 28 Votes)
- 3-6 months (12%, 23 Votes)
Total Voters: 194
16% Just started this past month
14% 1-3 months
13% 3-6 months
These 3 choices received almost the same number of votes, which just tells me that a wide variety of job seekers voted in the poll.
35% More than a year
There are always people who have difficulty finding jobs for prolonged periods of time and this is even more true because of the 2009 recessions in Western countries. An interesting followup question would be to know what percentage of the responses were from people who actually were laid off because of the economic crisis.
22% 6-12 months
Like the #1 choice above, some of the votes here likely came from people who were laid off from positions where they weren't going to be replaced, something that happened a lot during the recent recessions.
However, if we combine the two results, we see that 57% of job seekers polled (111 people) have spent over 6 months looking for a job. 6 months minimum seems like a long time to be looking for work, and if you're earlier in your job search like the other 43% of the poll's participants, this result might even seem depressing. However, it really shouldn't be too shocking.
When I was laid off from my job in France in early 2006, the local employment center told me that the average professional job seeker at that time – well before any crisis – required 4-9 months to start their next job. After starting JobMob that same year, I remember reading that the average American job seeker required 4-6 months to find a job.
Later, in 2007, I heard how some companies' recruitment processes – like Google's – can drag on for 2 months or more and I can confirm this from my own experience as well. Larger companies tend to have longer bureaucratic processes that require more people getting involved, while small companies often lack dedicated recruitment staff so that as important as the hiring is, it might not get dedicated resources on a frequent basis. Of course, economic conditions, industry surpluses/shortages, etc., also impact how long individual job searches will be.
There may some very legitimate reasons for your job search taking longer than you expected. And it's very important for you to realize that fact, because prolonged job searches – or rather, the perception of them – is one of the causes of job search depression which, in a bitter twist of irony, will only tend to prolong job searches even more.
So while you might feel that things are dragging on, stay positive! Keep trying new tactics while learning other ideas about to how to reach your job search goals more quickly.
If you liked this article, you'll enjoy [POLL RESULTS AND ANALYSIS] Which Social Media Network Are You Using MOST in Your Job Search?.