I recently met with a group of job seekers and asked everyone to share their biggest challenge about their job search. Do you know what the majority of them named as their biggest challenge?
Let’s break that down. The challenges that everyone mentioned were:
- Finding the time to job search
- Doing the right things with that time
- Struggling with days that seemed to have no structure
Let’s Talk Solutions
First, get clear on your goal. If your goal is to find a job, then you must accept that the only way that happens is with a whole lot of effort. In order to reach that goal, you’ll need to carve out blocks of time each day/week to do the work that needs to be done. If you’re a parent with kids at home, you might feel like a great deal of your time is spent in service of other people. Carving out even a few hours a week to devote to your job search will pay off. You’ll probably need to get protective about that time, so go ahead and let everyone know exactly when your Do Not Disturb sign is going up. Then stick to the plan and get to work! (Be sure to turn your phone off!)
Second, write down a plan. Once you’ve carved out some time for yourself, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re going to do with that time. Start with getting your resume in order, establish your presence on LinkedIn, put together a target company list and then get busy networking with anyone and everyone who works at one of your target companies.
My third suggestion is to use your calendar like the productivity tool that it was meant to be. Plan out your weeks and add some structure to your days. Block off the time in your calendar and be realistic about how much time you can commit to looking for a job. Add the tasks from your plan to the calendar. If you know what you need to get done and when it’s going to happen, this will take some of the stress out of this process for you.
And finally, try to spend most of your job-searching time on outward-facing activities like talking to people who can help you with a referral or with an informational interview. If you’re spending most of your time doing things that only you know about, that won’t help you land a job. You have to put yourself out there.
Let’s be the boss of our time and make this happen!