by Aimee Graham, Head Editor, INALJ New York State
How Soon Is Too Soon? Putting Yourself Back on the Job Market
After I completed my MSIS from the University at Albany I was eager to take any position with “librarian” or a relevant term in the title; I was starting at the bottom of the totem poll with no more than my education, internship, and interests to launch my career. I tirelessly applied to every position I qualified for (106 in four months) both in the states and abroad. After several unsuccessful interviews, I received an email to set up a phone interview for a small college in the area. After successfully completing the first round I was brought in for an in-person, and within a week secured a job offer. I felt that I made it, I was finally going to begin my career. I had reservations during the interviewing process itself; just the ‘vibes’ I was getting from the Director were all wrong but I followed through but even after working there several months things gradually went downhill. I became unhappy in my position and felt as though I had to walk on eggshells even though I was completing my duties above expectations. Within two months I started planning an exit strategy, but because I had no other experience, I stayed on. I became miserable and daydreamed of going into my boss’ office and quitting on the spot. So this brings me to the question: How soon is too soon to put yourself back on the job market?
One to two years at a position is a good rule of thumb, especially for those currently entering the field. You want to show reliability, stability, and of course learn new skills during that time. My advice is that if you legitimately feel uncomfortable at work, put your resume out. If your attitude towards your position or place of employment is severely harming your personal relationships and, more importantly, your mental and physical health, put the resume out. No position is worth damaging your health.
Each person knows the best time to begin the daunting progress of the job hunt, so my best rule of thumb is do it when YOU are ready too. I’m not saying jump from job to job, as this will reflect poorly on you, but do not go off a timeline based on best practices. Most employers know that not every previous position was a right fit, so if you’re not starting a new professional position every 8 months, you will be fine.