Monday, March 5, 2007

How long should I expect to be job hunting?

A colleague of mine is currently job hunting, and has been astonished at how long the process takes. I know all too well that the recruiting process can take a long time. Job hunting, interviewing and accepting a new position take time.

With production positions the window to find a new position is between January and July. If you haven't found a new position by then, professional courtesy is to hang in until after harvest. As mentioned in previous blogs, non-production positions are not tied to harvest as much.

The normal job hunting cycle is typically one to two months for an entry level candidate. Once you become more specialized and experienced the job hunt time changes. With between 2-5 years of specialized experience with a track record of expanding responsibilities you are a hot commodity, and the job hunt may be quick. But if your goal is to work at a select winery or smaller sized company, the hunt can take two to four months. Once your experience gets very specialized or your responsibilities greater than the average winery position, the timing is longer. A Director or Senior level position can take up to 12 months to find.

So how can you shorten the time it takes? The first and most important thing to do is to always take an active role in your own career management. Taking new courses, getting an advanced degree, participating in industry events and taking on additional responsibilities at work are very important. Next, keep an active network of peers and colleagues. These are people you can use to gauge your current job track, to ask questions, and to keep tabs on who is where, and who has recently moved on. You also can use this network to find out what other companies are like, and if they would be a desirable future employer. Lastly, this group can put a good word in for you when a position does come up.

Now when you decide to get a new job, get an idea of your time frame and then start charting your course. Talk with your network, look at job openings, contact companies that interest you, and follow up on promising news. If you are actively managing your career, the job hunt will go faster and smoother, with better results.

No comments: