How Long Does It Take to Find a New Job?

Updated on December 10, 2013
S.Z. asks from Melissa, TX
17 answers

I know it kind of depends on what you're looking for and how much you want, but does anyone know about senior/staff accountant making around $55K? I don't have a Bachelor's degree (just Associates), but I have over 10 years experience doing the work. I had a pretty good job, but they kept piling on more work and expecting longer hours and I have two little kids (3 and 6). If my husband got off work at a regular hour, I probably could have dealt with it, but sometimes he doesn't leave work until after 6:00 or 7:00 (it's getting more and more regular) and I can't leave them at the daycare that long.

My old boss had been after me for a while to go back to work for her and I resisted for a while, but then a co-worker started looking for a new job and I panicked that he would quit and all his work would get dumped on me so I quit first. Now, it's been a little over two months and I can't take it here anymore. I put my resume on a week ago and haven't heard anything, I know a week isn't long, especially being the end of the year (for budgets) and everyone gone for the holidays, but I'm getting desperate to get out of here and wondering if I'll ever find something that pays what I need and doens't require 50-60 hours weeks to get it.

Should I go to a dtaffing agency that specializes in accounting or give it a little longer?

**I did not quit my first job without having something lined up. I went back to work for my old boss, but I've been here for two months and I'm miserable. She's not the boss I remember.

What can I do next?

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answers from Richland on

I hate to be a wet blanket but I have a masters in accounting, a bachelors in accounting and information technology management, and I only make 52,000 a year! My daughter's boyfriend just got his CPA he doesn't even make as much as me!

You aren't going to get a job like that when there are kids graduating with more education than you and no where to use it. You are a bookkeeper not an accountant.

Oh I could make more but I would have to go into public accounting and be willing to work 60+ a week, no thanks.

12 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

As an HR Manager, I recruit for openings in our company. I do both hourly and salaried positions. I am currently looking for an accountant. However, they MUST have at least a bachelors degree in Accounting.

The titles you are using are titles that require a bachelor's degrees and unfortunately, you don't have that.

You need to seriously look at the positions that you are interested in. I don't know what type of experience you have. Is it more payroll, AP/AR, general ledger, cost? Do you have manufacturing experience.

Putting your resume on indeed is not enough. You need to get on LinkedIn, Monster, Careerbuilders. All of them.

Looking for a job in December is not ideal. Most employers are not even interviewing at the end of the year. They are dealing with vacations, end of year, and budgets.

Personally, you need to stick it out where you are for a while. You really should have talked to your employer before you quit. I don't think you were looking at the big picture. I wish you success on your search!!

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I see a few problems here.

1.) You are looking for a specific number. That REALLY depends on the market where you live, the field you have education/experience in, and your ability to sell yourself.

2.) You ran when you got scared...that doesn't get you an increase in pay. I've taken jobs and had the senior person leave a month later, leaving me to do both jobs for extended periods of time. It has ALWAYS been a lot of work, but paid off for me in the end, big time. Don't be scared of work.

3.) Again, depending on where you live and your experience/education will depend on how long it takes you to get a job. Where I live, people are getting fired for not having a degree. A lot of people have been given 3 years to get one, and if they don't do it in that time, they are out of work - I've seen it happen more than once. It's the contract world though.

If you REALLY want a new job, you have to realize it's a full-time job to find a new one. I bet that you are looking for too much money and too high a titel for someone with "only" ten years of experience and no degree. I make good money, but Ilive in an area that pays off of the DC scale, I have 7.5 years of experience in finance and two degrees. It took a lot of work on my part to get to the salary I am at now. I still interview several times per year - but I know for a fact it would take a heck of a lot to make me leave my job I have no...even $10k more per year wouldn't do it for me. But I know how to sell myself and have been offered that before. So you need to get out there and sell yourself, plus go back to school.

I think I've rambled...but stop looking for a title and a salary and find a job where you are happy. The money and title follow with time.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

It is going to take a while and honestly I would not have quit. I would have negotiated a better salary/hours and found a Nanny for my children that would be with them until Dad or I got home.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I see your update that you are still working. That's good. My opinion - you should stick it out for a while with your new (old) boss. I'm not sure why you are miserable, but if there are things that you can talk to her about, please do so. She clearly wanted you to come back, so she must see value in you. But she is not a mind reader, and can't know that you are unhappy if you don't tell discuss it with her.

Please don't repeat your past mistake - quitting your job without talking to your boss to find out if you can make the job you have now into something you want to keep doing.

As for finding a new job - I have no idea how long it will take, especially since you want a pretty high salary for someone who can't commit to staying each day until your work is done. (FYI - I pretty much don't know anyone who is only works 40 hours a week, unless they make a truly hourly wage where they clock in and clock out.) I do know people who do at least some work from home, or work flexible hours, to make their schedule more family friendly. But that is usually only after they are established have proven to their boss that they have a good work ethic in the office.

Sorry to not be more encouraging. But this is why I think you should try talking with your current boss before you do anything else. She just hired you. If you quit, she has to do another candidate search to find someone to hire again, plus train. You have some leverage with her if you use it wisely and respectfully.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

It took my husband 7 months to find a new job after getting laid off after the company he was working for got bought out.
He had to take a 10% pay cut and a serious demotion to even get that job. Some of the other things he interviewed for were even worse and would sometimes mean relocating across the US on our own dime.
You're going to have to keep your options open and you may have to settle for second best, especially because the reason you are unemployed is because you quit because you were scared of taking on a bigger work load.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ETA; sorry you QUIT first??! That just totally skipped by brain...sorry...but as a recruiter? I would ask you why you left and if you said "because I panicked over getting a co-workers work" I most likely would NOT hire you. You can ALWAYS negotiate. you had NO IDEA what was going to happen.

It took my husband, with a clearance and a Masters 10 months to find a job.



Your resume needs to be looked over by a professional - to see what is lacking...make sure it has the key words that recruiters would be looking for in your resume.

Depending upon your area - it could take several weeks. In Dallas there are 43 staff accountant positions listed on

Try other job

check your resume for spelling. grammar....

I realize you do NOT WANT to leave your kids in day care that late...if they are open that late and you have work to do??? then work. You need to communicate to your boss your expectations of work have a family and need to care for them as well. maybe you can adjust your hours to come in earlier so that you can get your work done...or even ask if you can telecommute your position...start out with one day a week...but remember - you are WORKING...and your children will need to be looked after by someone other than you...

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would suggest signing up with a temp agency. There are some in the Dallas area and one is Account Temps. Do not expect to walk in a door making $55,000. Of course your experience is work something but there are a lot of college graduates with higher degrees who start out less than that and work their way up the ladder.

When I was in corporate marketing, we hired all support staff from the temp pool because we got to know them, we knew who fit and who didn't, etc.

You mention Senior Accountant but you are not a Senior accountant without further degrees. Right now you are bookkeeper.

I run all the financials for our company, act as Controller and owner. I do have a backup person who owns her own bookkeeping business and is a qualified QuickBooks consultant. When I come across something I am not sure about, I just call her and we go through it. I pay $95 an hour and she prorates everything according to how long we are discussing the topic.

I can't believe you quit a job without having something lined up. I hope you have savings and insurance back up. You are a red flag for interviewers because you quit without lining something up first. It does not show good judgment to just bail.

Sign up on LinkedIn. I get a lot of resumes from people looking for jobs as well as recruiters contacting me for jobs on that site. It is a good networking site.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would definitely go through a staffing agency if you're chomping at the bits to get out of there. I've found each time I've looked for a job, whether I was employed at the time or not, on average it's taken me approx 3 months. I don't see anything wrong AT ALL w/a staffing agency. I worked at one three months, not in my field, and was able to get insurance for me & my boy and work full time. The pay was a little less, but I managed. I was looking for a job in my field, and alas, three months later I was thankfully called about a job! That's exactly what I would do. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Go through a staffing agency. What does it hurt to sign up with one? I have gotten my last 3 out of 4 positions through a staffing agency. I don't make what you're wanting, but I'm in the accounting field without an accounting degree.

It took me 1 week to 1 month to find a job through a staffing agency, and I signed up with more than one. A friend of mine, who has a bachelor's in accounting, took about 3 months to find a good job through a staffing agency. I don't know what her salary is, though.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

ETA: I am glad that you have a job. In this world you are not going to do 40 hours a week and go home even if you punch a time card. There are times when you just have to work longer hours. We all wish for the perfect job but few get it. I know we all would like family to come first but if it means putting food on the table then we sometimes have to put family second and make changes. Please do talk to your boss. If you can, please step up and take on a task that may make the difference in a promotion and stop being scared of changes. Things happen for a reason that we sometimes don't know they why. But do consider going back to school so that you can make the money you want.

Well you should have stuck it out a bit longer and as a person said, negotiate.

There is a saying about getting a job when you have a job. Right now there are people who have been out of work for over four years looking and many have a stigma from being out of work and no one hiring them.

You will find something but it is going to take time and it could be months up to a year. The fact that you have an associates is great but you may have to go back to school to get the bachelors in this economy.

Try to volunteer or something to keep you busy mentally.

Good luck on your search.

the other S.

PS You jumped "out of the pan and into the fire" is what you did. Now you are looking for a job which you already had.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My oldest daughter signed up with an accounting staffing agency and started to get calls right after signing up. So that might be the way to go if you have your insurance through your hubby's job. Some of the assignments last weeks, most have offered full time employment if she's interested.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My husband in a different career but took him a year and still isn't quite what he wanted. There is something out there but it may take some time and it's a lot different looking for a job now than it was say even 10 yrs ago. Not sure if you are on Linked In but if not, get a profile and start networking! In this economy I would not give up a job without having one first but that's a personal call you have to make. Have you talked to your boss about flex hours or a compromise?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Start your own business helping small business owners with their accounting needs. Work from home and make your hours. You will not make $55K to start, but if you can swing it, I would!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Most kids are in child care over 10 hours per day so it's not that uncommon to be in there that kind of hours.

If a person works 8-5 or 5:30 the hours add up like this.

If I have to be at work, at my desk, ready to get on the phone or take a call or start a meeting at 8am I need to be there before 8am. I need a few minutes to get parked, get inside, go through getting to my seat, maybe stop by the bathroom, and get a drink. So I need to be at my place of employment by 7:40, just in case traffic is bad I plan on 7:30

Say it's a 20 minute drive from child care to work parking lot. That means I have to leave kiddo, walk out the door and be in my car by 7:10. So we plan on being at child care by 6:55. Kiddo checked in at 7am.

Then you work, do stuff til lunch then take your break. Go back to work and hopefully that conference call you've planned all week is over by 5 so you can get out of the building and off to pick up kiddo. Call goes over by 10 minutes, then you have to straighten up your office, put up confidential materials, are actually in your car by 5:30. Drive to pick up kiddo and the traffic is pretty heavy since you left a few minutes late. Get to child care at 5:55. Kiddo out at 6pm.

So from 7am-6pm, 11 hours. Normal parent working 8-5 job. Of course it could be cut a few minutes and actually be 10.5 hours. Don't feel bad if your kids are in child care those long hours. They play, sleep, eat, have fun, do crafts, color, get hugs, have more fun, and more. They do get tired at the end of the day, so do the workers, so it's time to go get them when it's time for you to be off. If that is 5 pm then plan on being on the road by 5:15-5:30 every day.

Tell your boss "My child care closes at 6PM and it takes me half an hour to get there. They charge $15 for the first 5 minutes then it's $2 per minute late fee, how would you like to take care of that charge for me? Cash?"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I'm not sure if this is accurate but I once read that on average it takes a month for every $10,000 of salary. So for a position you'd expect to make $50,000 a year it could take 5 months...if it was a position that paid $30,000 expect it to take 3 months.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have been looking since August. Actually a bit longer but my last day was in August. Even though you put your resume out there, have you been watching and applying for jobs that have opened? I get an email from Indeed with positions that have posted. When something looks promising, I apply even though my resume is out there as well.

1 mom found this helpful
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