The Job Search Sucked so I Started a Company
Your Job Search Shouldn’t Be As Scary as You’re Making It
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 2pm 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 a human. Going overseas without any money saved up or a steady income was just as stressful as it was fun. Before I left, I 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 different gimmicks, but they’re all filled with the same broken model. If you can clean up your search as much as possible by being as specific as possible, you will spend your time finding jobs that are the right fit instead of jobs halfway across the country in industries you’re not interested in. But it takes a lot of sifting through. Once you 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” email. Honestly, most of the time I got responses from jobs I forgot 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 sales funnel. It gave me confidence in numbers, and I knew I would close a job I wanted.
Being consistent is the last key. Follow up. 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. While he didn’t match me with the job, it sure helped to name-drop him during the interview process. Even be consistent on rejections. GET FEEDBACK! Great recruiters will give it to you. But not everyone is a great recruiter. Send that uncomfortable email if you get rejected so you can get some feedback and not make the same mistakes in your next interview.
Three simple steps. I’m not going to be that dork that says, “Quit your job!!” because the process isn’t easy. I’m also not going to be the dude to tell you to stick with it if you’re miserable in your current situation. I will tell you with clean job search, organization, and consistency, your job search will be a lot less stressful.
But that’s not where the story ended for me. Before my unemployment (which I liked to call it my mini-retirement), I was a hiring manager. Being a hiring manager was hardly stressful. There were countless recruiting software programs that made it easy for me to track the candidate, follow up with a click of a button, and stay organized. Why isn’t there a program like this for the job seeker? Sure, there are websites you can search for jobs on, there are apps you can network with, etc. But there was no one-stop shop for finding the perfect jobs to apply for, having said jobs organized in one spot, and tracking them throughout the process. So a friend and I decided to change that.
Meet Joustlist. In medieval times, jousting was a sport of preparation and strategy. And the joust list was where the battle actually took place. The joust list evened the playing field between the super privileged and the folks who didn’t have much. If you were well organized with a great strategy, anyone could win. That’s exactly how finding a job should be. The job seeker should have as many tools as the big companies.
Joustlist starts with cleaning up the job search. We sift through the world’s top job searching sites to give you only the best results. If you type in “sales manager, New York City,” you won’t get nursing manager jobs in upstate.
Once you find more high-quality jobs to apply for, we add them to your personalized dashboard. On your dashboard, we will track the company, job title, job description (for when the recruiter contacts you weeks later and you can’t recall what the actual position is), and other key elements for you all in one place. After that’s squared up, we will catch up with you to see if you heard back, what stage of the process you’re in, and other valuable information. We will add the information for you in your dashboard so you will have all the jobs you applied for all in one place.
The last piece is utilizing your dashboard. Haven’t heard from a job? That’s fine. Use the dashboard to follow up. We may even help you draft that dreaded “any update?” email we find ourselves sending recruiters who have ghosted.
Joustlist not only holds you accountable for your job search, but keeps you on track. They say for every $10,000 in salary you want to earn, you should add one month to your job search. We want to help you find the job you want quicker.