Are you a fussy job seeker? Is your checklist for finding your dream job actually holding you back and prohibiting you from getting a job?

When it comes to finding work there is fussy and then there is over the top unrealistic, possibly going to struggle finding a job fussy because your expectations are unrealistic. How do you know which one you are?

Being fussy when searching for a job is a good thing to a degree. Knowing what you want in a job, what satisfies and motivates you, what type of culture works best for you and if the job aligns with your why and values is a good thing. This type of job searching checklist will help drive your job search; saving you time in applying for jobs that aren’t the right fit for you as nobody wants to be applying for anything and everything.

As a recruiter there is nothing worse than being told by a job seeker “I’ll do anything.” In reality you probably won’t and it gives us no direction in what type of job opportunities we should flag for you. On the other hand, having a never-ending checklist of non negotiables for your next job is probably just going to leave me feeling that it will be impossible to help you because what you are looking for simply doesn’t exist.

I’m often contacted by job seekers who are frustrated, disheartened and are fed up with trying to find work. It can be hard work applying for jobs and when your job search spans over many months it can be de-motivating. A few quick questions can determine where someone might be falling down in their job hunting. These are questions you can ask yourself.

  • How many jobs have you applied for?
  • How many interviews have you had?
  • How many job offers have you had?

If you are a job seeker who has applied for a very small number of jobs over a very long period of time and can’t seem to find the job you are looking for this is one sign you may be the unrealistic fussy type. Now this does depend on the particular type of job you are looking for. If you are a Zoologist, there simply aren’t going to be your kind of jobs advertised regularly in Ballarat so it would be expected that you might not have applied for many positions. If however you are in a more common industry and line of work and you haven’t applied for many positions this can indicate your checklist might be a little over the top.

Here’s a few “fussy” requirements that I often see amongst job seekers:

  • Unrealistic salary expectations

If a job seeker says something along the lines of “I won’t get out of bed for less then X amount of dollars” and they are not negotiable at all, it’s a red flag. Salary is a negotiation process, sometimes you might need to be flexible and prove your worth, not being open to considering a salary within a range that is realistic with market rates makes you too fussy. In addition just because you have earnt a particular salary in Melbourne does not mean you will earn that same salary in Ballarat with the exact same skills and experience. Salaries vary significantly between Melbourne and regional areas.

  • Hours of work

Part time hours are in demand and if you talk to any job seeker they’ll tell you it’s hard to find part time hours let alone school hours. Wanting part time work isn’t being fussy. When you are completely rigid with your availability it can make it hard to find the job for you. For example if you are only available Tuesday from 10am to 2pm, Thursday from 1pm to 5pm and Friday from 9am to 12 noon it will be near impossible to find a job. However if you can be flexible in working various days of the week and a range of hours you’ll have more opportunities present themselves. Businesses have needs and deadlines for work to be done and being flexible is something that will be valued by a business.

  • Location of work

I can understand being fussy about this one if you work in Melbourne but in Ballarat being fussy about location is going to make it tough to find your dream job. If you only want to work in the CBD or a particular suburb; if you don’t want to work in Mt Helen because the traffic on Main Road is bad in the mornings due to schools you are really limiting yourself. When you start to rule out particular locations you rule out major employers in our region and subsequently reduce your job prospects. Is an extra 5 or 10 minute drive to work really going to be that bad?

When searching for work it comes down to being flexible, open minded and realistic. Having your blinkers on and not considering the broader and bigger possibilities of a job will restrict the opportunities that come knocking. Do your research and know your market so that you can make sure you are not ruling yourself out from jobs before you even start your job search.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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