November 18, 2013 6 Comments
We often think of the job search as consisting of writing our marketing documents, preparing for interviews, networking, and using LinkedIn. But there are other factors that need to be understood by the jobseeker and those around him or her; the first of which is being selfish. Maybe this isn’t the optimal word, but it comes down to demanding the time you need to conduct a short job search.
Demand the time you need. This is one of the messages I impart to my Introduction to the Job Search workshop attendees. I tell them, “OK, I need to tell you something; and I want you to listen.” And for effect I pause to make sure all eyes are on me. They must think I’m going to say something brilliant, but what I tell them is:
“In your job search, you can’t let anyone get in your way of looking for a job. You can’t let anyone tell you to watch the kids or grandchildren. You can’t let anyone tell you to do some errands that will take up your whole day. No home products, unless the pipes have burst. Just be cause they think you have free time. Do you get what I mean?’
Almost everyone of my attendees nod in agreement; some lower their head and look at the desk. After another moment of pause, I tell them that there are other things to consider when they’re conducting their job search. Things other than their résumé and interviewing skills.
Dedication to your job search and how you’re going to use your time wisely. If you’re going to demand the time it takes to conduct your job search, you have to show your loved ones that you are working toward a goal; not rising late, lounging in you pajamas, watching Ellen, going out with the buds at night, etc.
How can you rightfully deny those around you who need your assistance when they don’t see any effort from you? You can’t. They don’t see any dedication in the job search from you, so naturally they’ll want you to pull your weight in other ways.
How many hours you dedicate to your job search can vary from 25-40 hours. Any more than this may lead to burn out. I say look smarter, not harder. Looking smarter requires a well thought-out plan.
Have a plan. The best way to strive toward a goal is by creating a Career Action Plan (CAP) and following it as closely as you can. Sure there will be times when you slip and miss a date or change your plan around. This should not discourage you and cause you to abandon your plan. Your plan may look similar to this:
- Morning wake early and take a walk or go to the gym.
- Following your exercise, attend a networking group.
- Lunch with some networking buddies (you can write these off).
- Afternoon apply for jobs online, using niche boards.
- Optional: Volunteering at an organization where you’re utilizing your skills.
- Spend time following up with people you’ve connected with.
- After dinner, attend kids’ events or use LinkedIn to connect with more people.
Note: Your activities will vary from day to day, and you may include other activities, such as meeting with recruiters or going door-to-door and dropping off a résumé (yes, this works); but the outline is similar.
When you show those around you your CAP they’ll realize you’re serious about your job search and will most likely encourage you to follow through with your objectives. Keep them updated during your week to show them your progress. Most importantly you’ll feel better about your job search, especially if you’re meeting the majority of your objectives.
Being selfish…I mean demanding time for their job search…is difficult for some folks, who feel the need to be of help to others before helping themselves. But it’s a necessary component of a successful job search . Of course I stress to my workshop attendees the importance of supporting those around them when they have spare time…but only when they have spare time.