I’m sure you’ve heard it before: “Job searching is a job in itself!” But have you stopped to think about how true that statement is? In order to find work, you really have to put in the time and effort to find those openings, write a great resume, and prepare to wow at an interview.
If you treat job searching as your job, you’ll be more organized, motivated, and more likely to find employment sooner. Here are our tips for doing just that:
Set Your Schedule
Commit to set hours every day or week, just as you would in an actual job. Full-time searching (8-hour days) will burn you out, so just set aside a few hours a day job searching, editing your resume, writing cover letters, making phone calls, et cetera. Shoot for part-time, or about 20 hours a week.
Committing to these hours also means that you shouldn’t be working when you’re “out of office” – take a break to do a hobby or relax. If you don’t allow yourself the mental break, you’ll overload yourself and risk hurting your search. With your extra time, try to do something productive for your career like volunteering, taking a class, keeping up with news in your industry, or attending networking events.
You should also get in the habit of waking up in the morning and working during the day, allowing for an easier adjustment into a future work schedule. If you sleep in late every day and don’t set specific times to work, you’ll get lazy, and get nowhere in your search for a job.
Be a Professional
Even though you aren’t actually in a workplace setting, acting like it will keep you in the professional mindset. Setting that work schedule is the first step. When you wake up in the morning, get ready as if you’re going to work. You don’t need to don a suit around the house, but don’t sit around in your pajamas all day either – if you dress lazily, you’ll start to feel that way.
Set up a work area for yourself at a desk or table – don’t be tempted to sit on the couch. Getting too comfortable dulls the mind when you need to be at your sharpest.
Just like in a job, give yourself tasks to do, and deadlines for which to do them by. Make very specific goals for yourself, such as “apply to 5 jobs this week”, rather than broad goals. Setting specific goals makes them more manageable and attainable. Setting specific deadlines as well will keep you on track and motivated to get things done on time.
Answer to a Superior
Even if you have great self-discipline, you should have someone to answer to aside from yourself so you don’t slack off. On the job, you’ll have a boss or supervisor giving you tasks to do and making sure you submit your work on time. So during your job search, have someone check in with you on a weekly basis to ask if you’ve met your goals for the week. It could be a family member or a close friend – someone who will support you, yet also motivate you to keep going.
If you treat your job search as a job itself, you’ll be in a better position to express your best, professional self to potential employers, and ready to get back in the game right away when you finally find employment.
What other tips do you have for keeping yourself productive and professional in your job search?