Michael, a Senior Marketing Director, just lost his job. He’s a go-getter, likes to be busy and productive and is keen to move forward in his search. Like most of us, he doesn’t like uncertainty, especially in this challenging Covid-19 period. He’s very motivated and wants to know how long it typically takes to find a new role.
As these aren’t typical times, answering this important question is a little trickier than usual. However, market conditions, although important, are not the only variable impacting how quickly Michael will land his next opportunity.
Here are several factors that also play a significant role:
- Motivation: how much daily effort you’re willing to invest
- Connections: size and robustness of your network
- Attitude: positivity is powerful and attractive
- Level of role: the higher you go, the fewer roles exist
- Age: if 60+ it can be harder, especially in youth-centric sectors
- Sector: if you’re looking for a role in a declining sector, it will probably take longer
- Skillset: if unique and in demand, it will help
- Economy: strength of the current market
These common variables all play a role and some are more within your control than others. That being said, it can take up to six months or more for most professionals to land. The process simply takes time, as there are many steps involved, people to organize, and other hurdles to jump. If you’re looking for an executive level or C-suite role, that can take over one year. However, some people land much quicker as they already had irons in the fire before losing their jobs. Some people are lucky and fortunate with timing and some are exceptionally plugged in, focused and excellent at sales.
It’s annoying and frustrating that things seem to drag on forever, but hiring decisions are important and expensive. The best thing Michael can do during this time is get clear on who he is as a brand, what he wants, and help people help him by being very specific with his asks. All of this is within his control.
Michael will land, I just don’t know when or where exactly. But I know he will land because I’ve witnessed it hundreds of times.
Lynn Nicolai is author of Buckle Up! Managing the Career Transition Rollercoaster. If you want to get off the job search rollercoaster and be more productive, check out Buckle Up!