Stuart Coleman – Principal, New England Accounting & Finance Contracting Division
You lost your job. It is, by necessity, a change moment in your life. Many people are tempted to “take time off” to evaluate their lives and determine what direction they should be taking. Sometimes, a little introspection can be healthy; however, I wouldn’t recommend introspection over starting your job search. Let me share with you three big reasons why taking time off before revving up the job search is a mistake.
Time = Pressure
Perhaps you are comfortable taking some time off now. Ask yourself what your situation will look like if you are not employed six months from now. If the answer is not good, then begin looking right away.
When you look for a job, it is likely to take a couple of months before you land something, or possibly even get an interview. You may ultimately decide that the first job offered is not the direction you want to take. You want to be in control of that decision. Wait too long and the market might make that decision for you. Starting right away gives you options and control. You can always turn a position down or look for something better, which is better than not having a position at all.
Use your Skills while they are Sharp!
Let’s face it. Most of us have a work mode and a non-work mode. (At least I do.) Beginning the process while you are still sharp and still in work mode as your state of mind can make all of the difference. Pressure mounts as the job search goes along. You don’t want to let an opportunity slip away because you were rusty after a long lay off.
First in Line or Back of the Pack?
Right now, there are a lot of people searching for jobs. Starting your job search right away will keep other job seekers from getting ahead of you in the process. If two people with similar skills and backgrounds are going for the same position, the person who has been unemployed for a shorter time will have a competitive advantage.
Losing your job can be traumatic. I understand the urge to take some time to recover and reevaluate. It’s tempting but risky. The pressure mounts on a long-term job search all while your skills decrease and your competition increases. In this way, choosing to take a short-term break may turn into a long-term problem.
Stuart Coleman is a Partner & General Manager of WinterWyman’s Boston Accounting & Finance Contract Jobs division. Stuart blogs to provide strategic job search advice for candidates as they make their next career move. To learn more about Stuart and the contract finance and accounting jobs he is working on visit www.winterwyman.com.
WinterWyman is one of the largest and most recognized staffing firms in the Northeast, currently serving clients in the New England and metropolitan New York job markets with additional technology contracting capabilities nationwide.