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Struggling with Time Management during your Job Search?
It’s often been said that what gets scheduled gets done, and so it is with your job search. During a job search, if you are unemployed, you may find it difficult to stay motivated, especially if the job search has been taking a longer time than you expected, and the temptation may be to turn your attention to other priorities. Because you have more time on your hands, the days may seem endless, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you have strategies for managing your time during a job search. The most productive and successful people have a time management system in place – some more complex than others. Create a schedule for your day that includes your job search activities, and treat your days as if you were employed. Each activity in your schedule does not have to relate to job search, but you have to keep track of how you are actually spending your days.
For example, initially, schedule time to reflect on where you’d like to take your career? Do you want to stay in the same industry or niche performing the same roles and responsibilities? Or is it time for you to make a switch? You have to be able to answer the question, “What’s next for me?” This may seem basic, but without knowing where you want to go, you cannot map out the various routes and the time it will take to get you to your destination.
After you have worked through this reflective process, create a job search strategy, which incorporates all the techniques for finding a job both online and offline. Your job search schedule is not a to-do list, you have to have times attached so that you know when you are performing those tasks. And be selective in choosing job search activities, focusing on the ones that you will perform. Not every job search activity will be right for you.
Your schedule could look like this:
6:30 am Wake-up
6:30 – 7:30 am Exercise
7:30 – 8:30 am Prepare to start the day
8:30 – 9:30 am Compile list of companies want to work for
9:30 – 11:30 Research target companies
11:30 – 12:30 pm Email and call people in my network
12:30 – 2:00 pm Lunch with John
2:00 – 2:30 pm Follow-up on jobs applied for
2:30 – 3:00 pm Customize resume and apply for a job
3:00 – 4:00 pm Attend webinar on job search strategies
4:00 – 5:00 pm Update social media profiles
5:00 – 9:30 pm Volunteer at Networking Event
The above schedule is only an example, therefore, you should create a schedule that’s appropriate for you, and one that you will stick to. Having a schedule also allows you to manage interruptions, avoid multi-tasking, which can be a time waster, and most importantly, prevent you from procrastinating. For tasks at your computer that will take more than 30 minutes to complete, consider adding a software such as Big Stretch that reminds you to take quick breaks to prevent computer-related injuries.
Looking for a job is a straightforward process, and managing your time during job search enables you to accomplish more in less time.
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