The Job Search Shouldn’t be as Scary as You’re Making It

For a longer read, check out this post.

I recently quit my job with absolutely no plan. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy, but I wasn’t excited anymore. My performance dipped, I was stretched thin, and it was a tough realization one afternoon that my situation was no longer ideal for me or the company I worked for. So around 2 p.m. that afternoon, I put in my two weeks. I’m not the most buttoned up guy in the world, but putting my two weeks in the middle of the work day (with no plan!!) was highly uncharacteristic. But looking back, it was the right thing to do. I went home and planned a road trip overseas with one of my best friends. The trip was awesome. Then I went on more trips. They were also awesome.

But I am human. Going overseas without any money saved up or a steady income was just as stressful as it was fun. Before I left, I started looking for jobs, but I quickly realized I didn’t have the same tools I had available to me as a hiring manager at my old job. There was no software, no organizational tools, or really any resources other than a search engine. So I made my own. During that trip, I sat down and created an organizational plan made up of three core ideas: find the best jobs, be organized, and be consistent.

Finding the best jobs seems like an obvious point. In today’s environment, it’s really hard to sift through the noise on all the job search sites. There are numerous job search engines with countless gimmicks, but they’re all filled with the same broken model. Unless you can clean up your search as much as possible by being as specific as possible, you will find jobs halfway across the country in industries you’re not interested in. Once you do finally find the right jobs to apply for, you need to find a way to stay on top of the search. That’s where being organized comes in.

Being organized is probably the hardest thing to do with no real schedule or obligations (besides, you know, a mortgage). I would apply to jobs on the popular job search sites, and honestly I would bust so many job applications out (on a low day 10 on a high day upwards of 30), and all I had to show for it was the automated “thank you” emails. Most of the time I got responses from jobs I’d forgotten I had applied to. After having control of your success for so long, feeling like you can do nothing but sit and wait is absolutely horrifying.

So I fixed it. I started a spreadsheet with the date I applied, the position I applied for, a job description, if the recruiter responded, the salary, and some other helpful tidbits. I updated this spreadsheet once a day. Instead of half-assing applications each day, I started competing with myself. Keeping track of my job search process was exactly like tracking performances in a job. And just like in sales, I had to keep feeding the top of the funnel, but also keep track of my prospects that were in the middle of the funnel. It gave me confidence in numbers, and I knew I would close a job I wanted.

Being consistent is the last key. I had a few great recruiters contact me within days of me being unemployed. None of them ended up matching me with the job I wanted. I actually received rejection phone calls from two different recruiters I was working with within 20 minutes of each other (that was a tough night), but I kept on them to see if they had anything else. I had coffee, sent emails, and eventually got connected with one of the recruiter’s old colleagues coincidentally, which turned into a job offer. Essentially, following up helped place me in a job I love.

But that is not where the story ended for me. I took these learnings and created a solution to make your job search less stressful, cleaner, more organized, and more consistent. Welcome to Joustlist.

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