by Mark Cummuta

When to End Your Job Search

Oct 25, 20083 mins

Is there a time when a job seeker should stop trying to find a new job?  If your job search has been going on for months, maybe over a year, is there an appropriate length of time or some other condition when a job seeker should “put a fork in it” and quit?

This question is in response to my personal job search status update posted last week, where a pseudonymed reader commented:

Mark – I don’t know you but after such a long and seemingly fruitless search isn’t it time to admit to yourself that it’s time to move on and turn your hand to something else other than IT? For your own sake if nothing else.   “Wayne John”

While unusual and unexpected advice (you can read my response here), it got me thinking about the number of individuals laid off or in fear of being laid off, and the personal stories and published reports I’ve heard about job searches that take months longer than normal because of the current economic crisis.

For job seekers, worse still is the mental and emotional turmoil invoked when you hear the latest grim news — about the stock markets’ continuing slide, the mass layoffs or even closure of once venerable firms, and the potential for a global recession. I personally know of some job seekers that have suffered dire medical situations that were directly attributed to the stress they experienced upon getting laid off and/or not being able to find appropriate work.

That cycle of fear plays on each of us differently.  Some are taking jobs earning far less than they have recently. Others with more bankable assets change industries, start their own businesses, go back to school, or perhaps retire early.

So, is there an appropriate time or set of conditions when a job seeker should quit his or her search for an appropriate job?  If so, what are those conditions or timelines? And what should they do at that point?

What would you do if you were a job seeker in today’s market?

If you are in a job search right now, have you considered quitting? Under what conditions?  And what does that mean to you – what would you do once you’ve “quit”?

And if you quit, what does that mean about you personally? Is this about you, or more a testament to the market and our economy? Is it or do you think it will be a serious blow to your personal self worth?

These are difficult questions to come to grips with, let alone answer.

I sincerely thank you for reading and your participation in this discussion.


Mark Cummuta

CIO Job Search: A Real Life Chronicle