Job Search Time Management

Picture of an alarm clock on a desk

Let’s talk about scheduling time for the job of job seeking.

Think about it for a moment: How many hours per week are you spending on your job search?

Based on the results of a CareerBuilder survey, you may be likely spending an average of 11 hours per week searching for a job.

Just think: If you allocated more than 11 hours per week to your search, you would be ahead of the competition. For maximum return, CareerBuilder recommends 25 hours per week for those who are not working, and about 15 hours per week for those who are working.

If you are out of work, you have to think that this is your full-time job.

But how is dedicating 15 to 25 hours on a job search feasible when you already have a busy schedule, and you’re inundated with prior obligations?

Well think about your current or past behaviors on the job when a goal was set for you to complete by a boss or third party that held you accountable. You gave it your all, sometimes working 45, 50, or 60 hours per week to complete whatever was needed from you to produce the best results possible.

What’s surprising is that when people are out of work, or even if they’re seeking a job while working, very rarely are they putting in the time for themselves as they would for others.

Can you relate?

It is understandable, because it’s emotionally challenging to complete application after application, ask for help from your professional network and receive little to no feedback often from the companies you’re pursuing.

If you put in extra hours at work when it is required of you, you have the capacity to put in extra hours necessary to self-serve and propel your career.

11 hours per week is just over two hours a day. Add one hour a day and you’re already ahead in the race.

So that would be three hours per day, and 15 hours per week.

While allocating time may be challenging, it’s a challenge you have to face. Here’s how to confront the task in stride:

1) Block Time

Block time and dedicate time to your job search and enlist the services of a coach or accountability partner to keep yourself focused on your commitment at hand, and your commitment to find a job you love. Commitment is key.

2) Recognize Emotional Barriers When They Arise

For most people, emotional barriers are like a brick wall. People get stopped in their tracks without realizing that emotions are the culprit, not the situation.

Overcoming emotional blocks is achievable – part of the process includes recognizing emotions when feeling overwhelmed, dejected, or frustrated. Make it your business to recognize these feelings as feelings – and make some time and allowance for them. Limit this amount of time, then feed your energy by taking a walking, having some water, reading something inspiring, or connecting with another person. Then, get back on the horse and back in the game.

3) Break Up Your Work

If you break up your work with plenty of nourishing, re-energizing time you’re going to find yourself much more productive. Reference The Pomodoro Technique, a time management method that recommends working for 25-30 minutes at a time, then taking a two-to-three minute break. The point of the technique is to reduce the impact of internal and external interruptions on focus and flow.

4) Manage Distractions

Many people cite household distractions, such as the kitchen, homeschooling and children vying for attention, as barriers to focusing, especially now during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Make sure that your spouse, partner, family – anyone around you – know that if you’re going to be the best provider for them, there are times you will not be able to be with them.

With boundaries understood and respected, you’ll be able to keep yourself productive and keep everyone happy.

What works best for you?

As you know, there are many more ways you can maximize your time so that you’re generating the connections and accessing the jobs interviews that you want.

How will you leverage your time, manage distractions and land the job of your dreams?

If you have anything you want to discuss, please feel free to contact me. On behalf of my team and me, we’re here for you.

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