This week, LiveCareer provides answers to a few of the reader questions that have been showing up in our inbox.
Question #1: Am I an Outsider?
“I was laid off from my job—the first and only professional job I’ve ever held—about four months ago. Since then I’ve sent out an average of five resumes per day, I’ve had two interviews (they went nowhere) and I’ve had two unemployed friends land perfect jobs while I continued to struggle.
Here’s my question: is this normal? Should I worry that I might be a loser? What if there’s something wrong with me? I have absolutely NO idea if these metrics sound reasonable or not. Nobody really goes to a party or a bar and talks in an honest, open way about their struggles with unemployment, so I just don’t know where I stand.”
Everything you’ve said falls within acceptable averages for a qualified, competent person in the midst of a perfectly normal job search. In 2014, an average search lasts for about eight months, and most people attend five to ten interviews before they receive an acceptable offer. These rates fluctuate with the health of the economy, the rarity of the targeted position, and the geographic area, but in general, everything you’ve told us sounds typical and promising. Good luck, and don’t give up—your ideal offer is just around the bend.
Question #2: In Need of Stability
“I’m unemployed, and I just don’t think I can bear this. I see others around me who move easily in and out of jobs without a care in the world—they’re working one day, laid off the next, working again within a month or two—but I just can’t do this. This is not the way I was raised. I need to feel professionally successful in order to be okay, and I’m just not handling unemployment well at all. When I’m unemployed, I’m not happy. What should I do?”
If we could show you the contents of our inbox and you could see how many messages come in every day from people just like you, maybe you wouldn’t feel so isolated and your situation wouldn’t seem so unusual. But trust us: making a living and managing a successful career are NOT easy tasks, regardless of what you’ve been led to believe. This is a difficult game, and like everyone else, you’re doing the best you can with the tools and resources you have.
The best suggestion is also the most common: get some help! Nobody fights this battle alone. Have courage and reach out to everyone you know who might be able to offer leads and information that can help you. Visit LiveCareer for resume guidance , and send messages to your teachers, your parent’s friends, your friend’s parents, your old bosses, and your contacts on LinkedIn . Tell them what you can do and explain what you’re looking for.