As we inch closer towards spring here in the Midwest, I’m looking forward to the budding trees and blooming flowers that are only a few months away. As I enjoy the longer days and increased activity at my bird feeder, I’m also a bit saddened that two of my friends have lost their jobs in the past month. However, their cheerful dispositions and confident attitudes can serve as a wonderful example to anyone who’s involuntarily unemployed. Their positive spirit inspired me to write some tips about organizing a job search. Whether you’re currently employed and looking for a new opportunity or unemployed and searching for work, you’ll want to get the most out of your job-hunting time and effort. To overcome feeling overwhelmed, I recommend creating a plan and getting organized – this will help you focus your efforts, stay motivated, and accelerate your success.
Think about your ideal job. Take time to identify your skills and interests and write down attributes of your ideal job. (You may ask a career counselor to help with this step.) Also, think about the type of business you’d like to work for, including aspects such as company size and location. Be sure to consider any transportation and time restrictions you may have.
Set goals. Next, clearly define your job search goals. For example, how much time will you devote each week to job hunting? What specific steps must you accomplish to make your ideal job a reality? Write down the specific tasks you need to accomplish each week. For example: “Research and review 30 company websites, make 20 phone calls, attend 1 networking event, update my resume, practice my interviewing skills, and review classified ads.”
Create an action plan. Now it’s time to schedule your tasks. If you work full-time, you’ll need to squeeze a few tasks into a full day. Having a written plan of action – such as a specific list of people to call during your lunch hour – will ensure you make the most of your limited time. If you’re not working, don’t fall into the “I’ve got all day” trap! Create appointments with yourself to accomplish tasks that will lead to achieving your job-finding goals.
Invest your time wisely. Be sure to allocate your time to each job-hunting activity according to how potentially effective it will be. For example, for your field, spending time networking may be much more effective than responding to classified ads. Also, schedule and tackle difficult or unpleasant activities during the time of day when you have the most mental energy – for most people, that’s first thing in the morning.
Here’s a link to my newsletter where you can read more about the how to plan your job hunt. I’d love to hear what additional tips you have.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,