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I’m Just Looking

Unlike retail, looking for a job does cost

➔ Talk about a conundrum. You’re out of work; there’s no money coming in; the bills are piling up; and yet you know that you need to spend some money on your job search. So where do you spend, what do you cut?

One huge advantage of looking for a job in the digital age is that your resume doesn’t have to be copied and mailed. Back in the day, a job seeker could spend a considerable sum on printing (copying) resumes and the postage to mail them.

Feeling better now?

We didn’t think so.

What about those situations where you need some face time? Those individuals with whom you want and/or need to see face-to-face? Go to a networking event and you’ll pretty silly standing there empty handed. You may have to spring for a beverage or two. You may have to pay to park. There may even be a cover charge or admission.

Given the importance of networking in your job search, those ultimately will be dollars well spent.

What about one-on-one meetings? If it’s breakfast or lunch – or even just a cup of coffee, who pays? Here are a few guideines and tips:

• An overriding rule of thumb is that the job seeker always pays. In most cases you’re the one who suggested meeting and you have the most to gain from such a meeting. It would stand to reason then, that you would pay.

• On the other hand, if you’d like to meet someone in their office and they suggest going out, why should you have to pay? Excellent point. Another rule of thumb: He who sets up the meeting, pays.

• Even if your contact claims that “This one’s on me,” be prepared to split the check. It may not happen, but be prepared.

Of course, the best way around this entire situation is simply to suggest meeting in the office. Even if you end up in the company lunchroom, the cost of the coffee there will be a lot more reasonable than at a trendy, chic coffee shop.

So how much should you be spending on your job search? Don’t ask us. We did multiple searches on Google and even asked ChatGPT and got nothing. Oh sure. There was a lot regarding how time to spend on a job search. But there was scant information on the dollars one can expect to spend.

In the end, it all comes down to common sense. Of course, that’s something that’s not so common anymore.


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