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How to Employ Active Waiting in a Job Search

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux 

One of the most empowering approaches in a job search is active waiting. Since no one likes to wait by the phone for an employer to call them back, what can you do to build confidence during a job search?

I recommend finding ways to remain productive while your next opportunity prepares to show up. How?

  • Reach out to people at the company to get more information on the culture or the expectations
  • Prepare job interview answers or portfolio projects for when a recruiter does contact you
  • Keep looking for your next opportunity (even until you sign and return a written offer)

This, more than anything, feels to me like dating advice because I am essentially saying move on with your life instead of waiting by the phone. Yes, you are encouraged to follow up but not to hold in place waiting for ‘someday.’ While some responses take hours, I have known people to get their call back a year after their application. By the same token, I have also witnessed people get key information by networking with company employees, which included news that there was a hiring freeze or that the team was too busy to respond to all the applications.

A lot of different career specialists like job searching to dating. That’s what I think about also when it comes to sitting and waiting by the foam. Mothering is as demoralizing as waiting for somebody to call who you think should have called by now.

Momentum Matters

But also it comes to knowing your value by considering how precious you are. The time that you have to spend on different things may be used to put your application out there. They can take all the time in the world they need, but you’re not going to wait there. You’re going to keep looking, keep applying, and keep building that momentum. Then, you can be in the best position possible. Momentum brings confidence and confidence keeps building that momentum. From there, the job search tends to accelerate to the point where it can be uncomfortable when you have multiple opportunities or multiple offers at once.

Know that this is a good position to be in because you don’t feel it’s an all-or-nothing proposition where if you don’t take this opportunity, nothing’s going to happen. Due to that reason, a lot of what I might recommend has to do with owning your power, seeing the value in what you offer, and holding that sacred.

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