Still job hunting? Keep swimming…

Just-Keep-Swimming-JobI posted this graphic on Facebook the other day:

Dory has to swim the entire ocean. Her advice? “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” kinda sing-songy, and with a goofy smile.

I didn’t do it to get a laugh, or because I thought someone else needed to hear the message. I did it because I needed to hear the message. ME.


But it’s not just me. Everybody (even non-legal folks) is probably aware there is a glut of law school grads and very few lawyer jobs to go around. And everybody is definitely aware of all the people, all kinds of people, who are out of work and are still job hunting.

Not you? Probably one of your friends. Think for 5 seconds… yup, that guy… that gal… you know the one. Still looking.

Everybody has advice. Look here. Look there. Do this. Do that.

This is my advice: you know what to do already. Just keep doing it. Don’t give up. Don’t EVER give up.

Sofa-fortWell, maybe for a day. I give up about one day every few weeks. I get depressed. I watch TV all day. This is what I posted to “close friends and family only” the last time that happened: “looking for a job sucks.  wondering how to pay rent or buy food sucks… I think I will stay in my pajamas on the sofa all day and watch as many episodes of some TV show in a row as I can. maybe West Wing (so I can pretend I work there) or some sci fi thing (so I can completely escape this planet).” It’s ok to take ONE day off, and to share this stuff with your close friends and family. Not so much in “public” posts that will be read by potential employers.

To be clear: I only just started looking, really. It looks bad because I’ve been out of school since May, but it’s not like I’ve been job hunting diligently since May.

Most top 15% law students like I am who want the kind of job I want (public interest) look for jobs like this: Law Review, summer internship, get fellowship sponsor, submit fellowship applications and judicial clerkship applications in September, graduate in May, take July bar, start Fellowship/Clerkship in August. Celebrate bar results in November.

What I did was this: juggle special needs child and law school classes, no time for Law Review (required for most judicial clerkships), intern in the fall and spring while kid is in school, miss fellowship deadlines in September, graduate in May, take July bar, deal with kid starting 7th grade in August while I worked a godsend part time contract job at a small firm where they didn’t mind that my kid was being suspended every other day requiring me to leave work and go pick her up, miss deadlines for fellowship applications AGAIN, get kid switched to school where she is doing well and staying in school so I can finally work full time (whew!)

Last month when the part time contract job ran out of work for me I got serious with job hunting. Serious as in: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm I job hunt. I job hunt like I studied for the bar only not quite as many hours (I did pass, by the way).

Make a list. Execute the list. Don’t stop. Don’t think about passing (getting hired). Just keep executing the list. Do the footwork. Let god/fate/whatever take care of the results. If I get worried, I just keep swimming.


DO EPIC SHIT (even though it doesn’t pay) –

The other advice I have, beside “keep on swimming,” is Do Epic Shit. I add “even though it doesn’t pay.” Volunteer for a really great project. It IS ok to post about THIS in public posts that potential employers will see. Get your name out there. But even more importantly: keep your spirits up by remembering that you are a force of awesomeness! I do this blog (especially my legal writing) to keep active in my field, and I volunteer for the One-Day-Divorce-Clinic (and even got to be on TV doing it). It’s kind of like the “do what you love” saying, without “the money will follow.” Because the money only follows if you keep job hunting too. Don’t volunteer so much that you forget to keep job hunting.

Also, don’t spend TOO much time on Social Media(tm). Schedule yourself a little break to chat online, read my awesome blog, and then log off and get back to job hunting work. Like I am doing. Right. This. Minute.