- Robb Conlon
When you run out of opportunities in the big city, when you've over done it, move to the next water stop. You might find the drink you're looking for.
You hit the ground running for your job hunt... and now you just hate it.
You're sick of logging onto Indeed™, Monster™, or even the boards on LinkedIn™.
You've seen this 60 times before, or maybe 600.
The jobs out there aren't for you.
As you examine the postings you see things that don't even fit your skill set, or that are completely unrelated to it.
Maybe you see entry level jobs like fast food and call center work.
There's nothing wrong with those jobs, and in fact, this past year showed us how valuable they were to our society. In fact, at least in my neck of the woods, some of these jobs pay pretty well!
But your calling isn't one of those jobs today, maybe you have a degree, maybe you have a special set of skills that few people have. You enjoyed what you were doing at your last job and want to do something similar to it again.
There's nothing wrong with that either.
However, we've reached a problem...
It seems that no matter what job board you open up or what local company's website you click "Careers" on, nothing is hiring for what you are looking to do.
This is one of the rare times where we at Recruiting Hell recommend that you take a day to recover.
Close up the laptop, pour a glass or mug of your favorite whatever, and take 3 hours to go do whatever you want. Anything. Make sure it doesn't break your budget, but pretty much everything is on the table.
You've possibly overdone your job search for this area, and that's not your fault.
This is normal, and the feeling of frustration and burn out will pass.
Depending on your vocation and skills, your locale may have a limited production and capacity of the jobs you're looking for. Even inside a good sized metro area, you may find very limited opportunities for what you do for a living when it comes to jobs.
Some cities are known as manufacturing hubs.
Some cities are known as tech hubs.
Some cities are a part of the Rust Belt and have fallen on hard times.
No matter where you live, finding out what your city is known for can help you gauge the opportunities that might be available in it.
What happens when you exhaust those opportunities though?
This is called "Overdoing your job search."
And it's something to be proud of.
You've sought out and looked at every possible opportunity within 50 miles or reasonable commuting distance of your home. That's awesome.
Take a bow!
You've earned that break we mentioned earlier. Hope it was good.
Here's the next step.
Find the next water stop.
What does that mean?
Let's take a little trip back through time.
Back to the mid 1800s, when America was settled. (Rest of the world, bear with me on this, the same principle applies to you as well, I'm just explaining it in a context of what I'm most familiar with to make the analogy).
I live in Wisconsin, which attained statehood in 1848, and at roughly the same time, thousands of miles of rail lines had begun to crisscross the entire country, mostly in the North.
Being from this part of the country, it's very evident to see how the earlier residents of Wisconsin and other parts of the United States, particularly the Midwest, settled the country.
Most population centers are roughly 20-60 miles apart, which just so happens to be about the same distance as a steam locomotive would take you (based on terrain) back in those days before it needed to refuel with, you guessed it, water.
As a result, a lot of towns, even larger ones that border on being called small cities, are roughly a 30 minute drive away from one another.
This leads to a neat effect that is likely close to you as well.
You may be looking at your local major metro area for a job, but when you exhaust it for opportunties, it pays to look at the minor population centers around you as well.
If we take my current location, Port Washington, WI, and do a 40 minute commute drive map, these other two communities are a 30-40 minute drive away and have a population of at least 30,000.
West Bend, WI
Now, admittedly, there's a lot of farm country between me and these places now, but it's just as easy for me, and possibly quicker on most weekdays, to get to either of these communities instead of Milwaukee or a close suburb of the city.
Looking to these smaller metro areas that are around you is a great way to find other jobs in these markets that you may have missed by focusing on your local, major metro area.
Remember to look in all directions for your job search.
One of the best jobs I ever had was in West Bend, WI.
Don't sell a community short because it's smaller than a city. You need to be willing to look anywhere and everywhere for the job you want to find.
When you run out of opportunties in the big city, when you've over done it, move to the next water stop. You might find the drink you're looking for.