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EVERYONE PARTY, it's time for Sam's Guide to Job Hunting!


I got an email from someone this morning who wanted to ask me about my system for jobsearching, so I wrote them a probably overlong letter and then realised, yes. It is time. I've been jobsearching for six months and I've reached the deadline where I switch over from "find a new job" to "find housing closer to where my current job is moving to". And I have learned a lot from being able to jobsearch while not having to stress about actually having a job, because I have one already, so I thought I would share my system.

It's important to note at the outset, though, that the specifics of this system may not work for everyone. You have to find what works for you. That being said, this system is designed to minimize the amount of a) work and b) thinking you have to do. The latter is important because thinking is hard and causes anxiety and if you have depression, you are likely to find any reason you can not to think. This isn't a character flaw; it's brain chemistry. So. Minimal thinking required. Whatever your system, spend each day wondering "how can I do less work?" and you will find yourself getting more done.

I've got an outline at the end for people who don't want to read every damn thing I say. :D


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All of this seems like a ton of extra work, I know. But it's extra rote-work. Everything I've talked about -- keeping a spreadsheet, making folders, making templates -- is stuff that you can do on autopilot once you get into the habit. It's mindless work that you don't have to expend any actual brain effort on; plug names in here, get output there. This replaces the difficult, messy, confusing, anxiety-inducing mental work that jobsearching usually requires. It takes about the same amount of time and much, much less energy, so that you can get more done and be less afraid.

Reading this, however, is a lot of mental effort, so here's a quick breakdown. This is also a good checklist until you get into the habit.

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So, there you have it. Good luck jobhunters, particularly those of you who are unemployed or fresh from school. Remember that even if you do everything in this post, you may not get many interviews; right now is one of the worst times since the Great Depression to try to find a permanent position that pays a living wage. If you are sending out applications, you are officially doing your best; the rest of the responsibility lies with the employer, and their failure to hire you is not your failure as a person.

It's a hard grind, and I wish you all the best.