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How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?

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How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?
Copyright Getty Images Keith Brofsky

How long does it take to find a job? The answer is that it depends. Job seekers understandably would love to know how long it will take to secure a position and resolve any uncertainty about their future employment. You could find a job in a few days, like one person I know. She was recruited via LinkedIn and offered a job a day after she was interviewed and two days after the recruiter first reached out. For other people, unfortunately, it can take a long time.

Over time, experts have estimated it would take very, very roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn. So, in theory, if you were looking to earn $60,000 a year your job search could take three months. However, there is little concrete research to support that assertion, and there are so many variables that impact the length of time it takes to find work that even a rough estimate is virtually useless when applied to any one individual.

Factors Which Impact the Length of a Job Search

  • The overall state of the economy and the job market
  • Economic conditions in the area where a worker is looking for employment
  • The quantity of jobs in the candidate's preferred location (try finding a film industry job in Des Moines, Iowa, for example)
  • Geographic flexibility on the part of the job seeker
  • Flexibility in terms of job preferences (those exclusively seeking a type of job which is hard to land will take longer)
  • Credentials of the job seeker, level of demand for one's skills
  • The longer one is unemployed, generally the longer it will take to find work
  • The amount of time and energy devoted to job search
  • The quality of job search communications
  • The quality of job search strategy such as the level of networking activity

Some of these factors like the state of the economy are beyond your control. Other factors can be impacted by your choices. Even one's marketability can be enhanced through coursework, training, internships, volunteer work and targeting projects in your current job to enhance key skills.

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