We all have only 24 hours in a day. How you use those 24 hours makes a difference, especially during a job search.
Can you say you accomplished something every day?
Are you moving the needle towards your goal?
What else could you be doing?
I worked with a candidate once who had been an athlete his entire life. An injury changed his plans. Now he was a job seeker, not a professional athlete. He struggled with how to spend his time.
As an athlete, he said he knew what he needed to do every day. He knew that he every ball he threw would not go into the basket. He knew that if he practiced, the odds increased that he would make a goal.
Why couldn’t we transfer that lifelong discipline to his job search? As soon as we started talking about the job search as a disciple that could be practiced, his face lit up and he felt more comfortable.
Here are some ideas about how to manage your time to achieve your goals:
- Set goals. Each day know what you want to accomplish. Exactly what you want to accomplish is up to you. But without a goal, you won’t get anywhere.
- Follow up. Maybe your goal for Tuesday is to contact five people to set up information interviews. You make the calls but only reach 2 people. You leave voice mails with the other 3 people. The next day your goal should be to follow up with the 3 people, along with anything else you want to accomplish.
- Know what you want. If you are looking for a job in banking, focus on banking. Stay focused. Don’t wander all over because the truth is, if you want to work in banking you probably won’t want to work in a factory. So focus on banking and stay away from distractions. Unless you decide that your focus is changing. Then put your energy behind your new focus.
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish in the day or planning period. Is it realistic to think you can make 20 calls in one day? Maybe. I couldn’t. Maybe you can. I changed my planning process a few years ago to plan for a week because I was consistently unrealistic about what I needed/could accomplish in a day.
- Give yourself a break if you don’t finish absolutely everything on your list. It happens. Maybe you weren’t realistic. Put those tasks on your plan for the next day.
- Plan time for yourself – exercise, relaxation, time with friends and family. You need energy that comes from recharging. Plan it in your schedule so you are sure it happens.
We developed several tools and programs specifically designed to help job seekers become more efficient and effective.