Stay up­beat

Avoid the job search burnout by be­ing pre­pared – it can be a marathon, rather than a sprint, Cara Jenkin re­veals.

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JOB­SEEK­ERS should leave at least three months for their job search and be pre­pared for it to take even longer to get into work or find a bet­ter po­si­tion.

That is the me­dian length of time it is tak­ing un­em­ployed job­seek­ers to be hired as well as a rough guide for those al­ready em­ployed and ap­ply­ing for work else­where.

Work­ers are re­minded not to un­der­es­ti­mate the time it takes or the amount of work in­volved in the re­cruit­ment process, es­pe­cially those al­ready in a job and jug­gling day-to-day du­ties as well as job ap­pli­ca­tions and in­ter­views, or they risk be­ing burned out or be­com­ing dis­cour­aged.

The lat­est Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics fig­ures show the me­dian amount of time a job­seeker is out of work and look­ing for a new job is 12 weeks, up from nine weeks in 2009 but equal to the time taken in 2001.

Mean­while the lat­est Rand­stad Work­mon­i­tor shows both young and ma­ture-age work­ers face bat­tles to get work.

Ninety per cent of Aus­tralians be­lieve it is hard for older work­ers to find a suit­able job, with 84 per cent forced to take a job be­low their ed­u­ca­tion level, while 56 per cent say it is dif­fi­cult for work­ers aged un­der 25 to get suit­able work and 69 per cent of­ten take jobs be­low their ed­u­ca­tion level.

Right Man­age­ment ca­reer tran­si­tion prac­tice leader Tim Roche says job­seek­ers need to stay up­beat in their search and not be­come dis­heart­ened if they think it is tak­ing too long.

‘‘ I say to peo­ple, you have got to be re­al­is­tic and give your­self three months,’’ he says.

From the date the ad­ver­tise­ment is pub­lished, em­ploy­ers may leave two weeks for ap­pli­ca­tions to be lodged.

Em­ploy­ers can be caught up in their day-to-day jobs and not get to the ap­pli­ca­tions for an­other week or two, then need to read through re­sumes re­ceived and whit­tle down a short­list for the first in­ter­view.

Some or­gan­i­sa­tions might

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have a sec­ond, third or fourth in­ter­view stage and/or re­quire work­ers to be as­sessed.

Ne­go­ti­a­tion can draw the process out fur­ther be­fore fi­nal of­fers are ac­cepted, he says.

‘‘ Twelve weeks goes very, very quickly,’’ Roche says.

‘‘ Peo­ple tend to be un­re­al­is­tic about the length of time as­so­ci­ated with the process.’’

Al­most one in 10 Aus­tralians were out of work at some stage dur­ing 2011.

The time it takes to find a new job also varies by age, with ma­ture-age work­ers 55 years and older more likely to be out of work longer (a me­dian 16 weeks) and those aged 15 to 19 years find­ing a job the quick­est (a me­dian of nine weeks).

The ABS statis­tics show 19.6 per cent of un­em­ployed peo­ple in 2012 were out of work for one year or more and of­fi­cially classed as ‘‘ long-term un­em­ployed’’. The most com­mon dif­fi­culty to find­ing work, cited by 18 per cent, was their health or dis­abil­ity.

There were 106,600

dis- couraged job­seek­ers in Aus­tralia who would start a job within four weeks if of­fered it but were not look­ing for work be­cause they did not think they would find one.

It was a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease from the 90,700 re­ported in 2011 but sim­i­lar to the num­ber re­ported in 2010 (102,100) and 2009 (111,800).

Most dis­cour­aged job­seek­ers (36 per cent) re­port that their main rea­son for no longer look­ing is that they are con­sid­ered too old by em-

Pic­ture: Andy Drewitt

Su­jee tries on clothes from Fit­ted for Work, with vol­un­teer

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