Time in the job search is a key component that affects almost everything. When to look? How long to decide? Apply too late and the job’s gone. Take too long and the role has changed. Pull out as the process has dragged. Fail to return a call in time and miss the boat or end up sitting in it with more competition.
So here are few tips for us wannabe time travellers:
You need to be quick off the blocks. Always respond as soon as you can to any messages. I know it appears to be a double standard, especially with some agencies, but they could be calling about a specific opportunity and will without doubt be working to a deadline.
Always call them after an interview they have arranged for you with your feedback. This gives them the best chance of representing you correctly to their client and will allow them to maximise any contact opportunities in your favour. This is especially true if you felt you could have performed better. Do not stick your head in the sand. They will have the opportunity to rectify any particular answers or respond quickly to any anticipated criticism. Even if you are not interested in taking things further, letting the consultant know quickly saves everyone time and could prompt them into securing you a different opportunity. By giving them an insight you can help them to pinpoint your requirements better in the future.
Have a little patience. The timescales involved vary dramatically from organisation to organisation, even within the same company, depending on the role applied for. If things are taking a very long time or the communication is poor, it is easy to become frustrated and believe this to be indicative of the company as a whole. Sometimes there are too many varying factors to really be used as an indicator for how long other processes within the structure may take.
I have known strong efficient companies of all sizes and industries have their best-laid plans trampled on by external forces. As long as communication is open, which in itself is no mean feat depending on the length of the chain (hierarchies, departmental management lines, internal recruiters, onsite consultants, externally agencies etc.) try and learn all of the intricacies before you pull out.
How long is five minutes? Communicate clearly. It may sound stupid but time really is relative. Back to behind the sofa, growing up my mother’s five minutes was always different than my father’s. Ask for deadlines so you can meet expectations, ASAP is not clear enough.
We haven’t got a Tardis- Doh! Sometimes we wish we could have our time over again or hit the fast forward button. Taking our time and preparing for an interview or application will increase our success rates, procrastinating and not seizing the moment can scupper them – Tricky this time business isn’t it? That’s why he’s the Dr.