Planning and Managing Your Time
As you begin to think about a job search, it’s wise to consider this endeavor as your new full or part time job. Treat your time as an extremely precious resource during your job search – just as you would if you were employed. To make the most of your job search, you must be able to develop and maintain the discipline of planning and managing your time. Careful scheduling of both your job search-related activities and your personal time with family and friends will help you maintain a greater sense of balance between personal and professional objectives.
Maintaining a schedule
It’s important to be methodical about scheduling and tracking your time to ensure the time you actually spend on your job search adds up to the amount of hours that you had planned. Block out time for repetitive activities two weeks at a time such as checking jobs online or making phone calls to your network. Begin each day with a “quiet evaluation” of the activities you have scheduled on your calendar to ensure you are spending time on the right things.
As you schedule time on your calendar make sure to be specific about the tasks you schedule. Avoid general labels like “Work on job search or “make calls” but instead get specific like research “ABC Company” and identify the VP of Sales. Here is a list of productive job search tasks
- Search target companies for job openings
- Identify the decision makers at a specific company
- Develop a personal marketing plan
- Write and practice your “elevator speech”
- Create a networking list
- Write and send thank you notes from yesterday’s meeting
- Schedule personal lunches with friends or loved ones
- Schedule a coffee meet-up with former co-worker
- Email outreach and follow-up with hiring managers
- Search for job listings online
- Make phone calls to 3 new contacts in your professional network
Your calendar should be what drives your activity during the day that guides your job search in the right direction. Check it at the beginning of every week and the start of every day to make sure that all of your tasks are fresh in your mind. Without adhering to your calendar, you’ll find yourself getting caught up in unimportant, unplanned tasks that can become counter productive to your search.
You will also find that keeping a calendar keeps you much more at ease throughout your job search. Knowing what you need to accomplish each day will help you dial down the anxiety and maintain a sense of accomplishment, And that will help you maintain momentum and a positive attitude during your search.
Are you doing all that you can to make the most out of your time during your job search? Work on your planning and time management skills to take greater control of your life.