By: Workplace Learning Solutions
Did you ever consider job-searching as a lifestyle? If you want to have a successful and rewarding job searching lifestyle, you must first master the skill of time management. Time management is the key to every professional’s wellbeing, since productivity and effectiveness will always be the name of the game, particularly when you’re looking for work. Going through page after page of Craigslist ads would be very overwhelming if you didn’t know when it would end, or could barely even remember where you began the search. Set yourself up for success! Tackle your job search and treat it as if it were a real job each and every day. You will know what ground you’ve covered and know what’s next on the agenda. Here are the very best practices to save you from drowning in a sea of job descriptions and wasting time.
Find a Productive Environment (And Stay There!)
As always, none of this work will have a leg to stand on unless you incorporate focus and concentration into your efforts. If you hop out of bed and onto your laptop, it may be difficult to find the motivation you seek. Wake up! If you’re hunting from home, but going about it as if it were a never-ending holiday weekend, you’ll never be in the right frame of mind for a successful search. All the unlimited coffee in the world isn’t enough to make you forget that this is the place in which you typically relax. Ditch the bathrobe, take a shower, and put on whatever clothing makes you feel comfortable. Pro-tip: Another great idea is to put yourself into situations that force you to be productive. Try heading to the library, where the atmosphere allows you to think, but perhaps not to the coffee shop where music may be blasting, and you’ll have to spend your last ten dollars on three beverages just so the baristas don’t give you a hard time about hogging the best seat in the house. A productive environment is essential! Don’t put yourself in an environment in which you will be easily distracted.
Create a Detailed Schedule and Stick to It
Nothing regarding time management ever worked without a schedule. It may be a loose guideline at the very least. Grab a paper and pen, an e-calendar, or both, and make lists like you’ve never made before. You must really think about your search. What must you do every day in order to make the most of your time? This will typically include visiting multiple websites, and contacting certain people, such as checking in with a temp agency. Most importantly, be realistic with your time. It’s nearly physically impossible to draft three completely different cover letters in under an hour, so spare yourself the heartache.
Prioritize Your Best Opportunities
Of all the job boards you hit, and all the networking events you attend, you know exactly which ones tend to post or offer the best job opportunities for you. Jobs that present the best opportunities for your career should be at the forefront of your search. Check these listings every day! Even if you don’t hit all of your targets, you’ll know that you checked off the most useful on your list.
Balance Your Personal Life With Your Search
Job seekers need to devote a significant amount of time to the search, but don’t neglect the other aspects of your life. If you get an average of 6-8 hours of sleep a night, you have 16-18 waking hours and you’ll have to decide where they are best spent. The optimal time to send out resumes and contact an employer is during traditional business hours from 9am-5pm. You should devote about 4-6 hours to your job search every day. This will account for breaks and other unexpected interruptions over the course of the day. But sometimes you are your own toughest critic and you feel guilty if you’re not constantly searching, don’t you? You become frustrated when it seems as though you’ve gone days, and can’t seen to find anything. You must set aside personal time for yourself. It is healthy!
At the risk of sounding counterproductive, there is such a thing as looking too much during a job search. You may feel stressed out- your computer monitor is now an eyesore and you haven’t engaged in any of the other activities that will keep you sane while you work on building your career. Reward yourself with free time, even when you’re unemployed! If you spend four hours looking for work, you should allow yourself two hours of leisure time. Hang out with your friends, catch up on reading, or just sit back and watch some television or a movie. A good way to assure yourself that you’re not wasting time during a job search is to log all the time you’ve spent searching, including resumes sent and outreach completed. Who says you haven’t accomplished anything?
Above All, Stay Organized
Job search tips in an old notebook you misplaced around the house, important messages sent from a million different email accounts, or forgetting the URL of a great job site … This whole job search will never work if you’re all over the place. Don’t make these mistakes- stay organized! I can’t stress the importance of organization during a job search. In addition to making sure you set aside the time to get down to business, make sure you’re only searching for the perfect job, and not the basic tools needed to land it.