Here’s What People Learned During Their Job Search

Read job search advice from people who have found success in their job hunt. Apply what they learned to your own search to find your ideal job.
6 min read

Share this Article


  • Stay flexible about the type of job you want to remain open to different opportunities.
  • Use your network to discuss your interest in a new position or your future career goals.
  • Consider working for yourself if you hit a roadblock in your job hunt.
  • Research the company before you accept any position, and listen to your gut.

If you're looking for a job, you're not alone. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a low unemployment rate, the amount of job seekers seems to be on the rise. The WTW 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey shows about 44% of employees are either active job hunters or plan to soon leave their job.

While the number of open jobs has risen over the past year, the job hunt is still difficult. It can take about five months to find a job, and it's an even greater challenge to find one you want to accept. Continue reading to discover job search tips that you can apply to your job hunt.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to Start Your Journey?

Use Your Personal Network for Leads

Networking is as important as ever while job hunting. James Green, owner of Cardboard Cutouts, says you never know what will come out of a casual conversation.

"I made the jump from employee to business owner as a result from a casual conversation with a friend while on vacation, proving that you can never underestimate the power of networking," Green said. "I had expressed my desire to have something that gave me a little more freedom to spend time with my family. I gave no afterthoughts to my conversation with my friend until a few months later he called about an opportunity to purchase a business."

A 2016 LinkedIn survey revealed that roughly 85% of jobs are filled by networking. It's never too early or too late to grow your network. If you aren't sure where to start, connect with current or former colleagues, friends, or family and participate in networking events. It takes time, but building your network can lead to new opportunities and career advancements.

You Don't Have to Accept Every Job Offer

A 2020 Glassdoor analysis showed about one in six job offers are rejected by job seekers. While rejecting a job may go against your instincts, not every job is a good fit. Andrew Layman, Director of Net Lawman, thought he had to accept every job offer early on his career.

"If you accept a job that is solid, but where you will not progress or your already low salary will not increase, you reduce your chances of finding a job that fulfills you and a place where you will grow and learn," he said.

There are several things to consider before accepting a job offer. Layman suggests to always trust your intuition. "If your first impression tells you to run away, do so. Do not tolerate being belittled and humiliated."

Be Patient About Advancement Opportunities

A job search doesn't necessarily mean looking outside of your company. Sometimes you may want a change in position or title without leaving a workplace you know and love.

A 2021 survey by Catalyst showed roughly 39% of job seekers planning to make a career change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic desired an increase in salary or a promotion. Waiting is often the most difficult but ideal way to get the results you want.

Kyle MacDonald, director of operations at Force by Mojio, says moving up the career ladder is sometimes about timing and qualified employees may have to wait for a position to open up in order to secure a promotion. That waiting shouldn't be passive, however.

"For me, I made sure to plant seeds and express my interest in eventually filling the role to the company executives. I wanted to be the first person they went to or considered when the spot opened up one day," he said.

Consider Working for Yourself

Dawn Carr, owner of Mahogany Insights — a market research firm dedicated to representing Black and African-American voices and helping companies create more inclusive brands — started her company after realizing there were very few market research firms that focued primarily on helping companies build better bridges with Black consumers.

Intuit Quickbooks' New Business Insights report predicted that 2022 would be another record year for the launch of new businesses. After surveying 8,000 U.S. employees, three out of five respondents want to start a business, and one in five of those people want to do so in 2022.

Carr recommends three steps for those who want to start a business:

  1. Be clear on your why: "One question you can ask is, 'if I didn't make money in this business for three years, would this business still be meaningful to me? If so, why?'"
  2. Find your tribe, squad, and team: "Your tribe are your close people that allow you to live your life and keep you grounded. You also need a squad — these are people who can relate to your entrepreneurship journey. Finally, you need a team. These are the people/services that help you get stuff done — employees, accountants, lawyers, housekeeping, Instacart, etc."
  3. Let go of the guilt: "The thing that has worked for me is to focus on the outcome and not the process. For example, rather than beating myself up about not cooking dinner every night (process), I focus on ensuring that the bulk of my daughter's meals are healthy (outcome)."

Do Your Research Before Interviewing

While it's tempting to accept every interview that comes your way, Jonathan Zacks, CEO & co-founder of GoReminders, realized not every offer was worth his time. After college, he discovered "the roles I was being offered were not at all as expected. Or, alternatively, the company that offered the roles turned out to be a company that for one reason or another I didn't want to work for."

He recommends doing your research. "Preparing for an interview can take a considerable amount of time; it's probably best to spend time making sure that you really do want the job before wasting your time and effort on an unsuitable position."

Frequently Asked Questions About a Job Search

What is the most important element in a job search?

Chevron Down

Finding a job that offers personal and professional growth is one of the most important elements to consider. Even if the pay meets your needs, you don't want to realize that your career will remain stagnant if you take the job and there are limited advancement opportunities.

During the interview process, ask how the company invests in their employees and if there are avenues for career growth. In addition, ask why the position is open. This can reveal whether the previous person moved up or if they potentially moved on due to a lack of advancement opportunity.

How do you narrow down a job search?

Chevron Down

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are around 11.4 million available jobs in the U.S. as of April 2022, which may be overwhelming to a job seeker. To narrow down your search, know the type of job you want. Understand the work environment, pay range, benefits, flexibility, and company culture you are aiming for.

In addition, focus on applying to jobs using your strengths and experience. If there is a particular industry you'd like to get into, reach out to your network and conduct informational interviews. Ask what skills and experience led them to find their current role.

Can I take a break from my job search?

Chevron Down

It's important to avoid job search burnout. So, taking a break may be what you need right now. However, make sure you are following any unemployment guidelines if you are receiving unemployment benefits. You may lose your benefits if you aren't reporting work search activities.

If you take a break, make the best of your time off. Consider taking on a new side gig, hobby, or volunteer opportunity. It can open you up to a new skillset or industry you hadn't considered before. Use the time prioritize your goals, advance your skills, and pursue networking opportunities.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.