"So, how much time do you spend on your job search?"
[awkward silence, mumbling, uh, uh, uh]
That's pretty much how all of my conversations go with my clients. Or they will tell me that they spent about 4 hours that one night last week, but haven't touched it again since then.
To put it bluntly, you're never going to find a job at that rate.
And who blames you? I mean, trudging through Monster or LinkedIn, scouring thousands of job descriptions sounds miserable. In fact, I think it's Satan's way of thwarting us from finding work that's glorifying and meaningful. But, there is a way to be effective in your job search without spending hours a night doing it. People often say that trying to find another job is a part-time job. And while that is somewhat true, you don't need to add a layer of soul-sucking to your already soul-sucking career. Agreed? Agreed.
Plus, finding a job is kind of like going on a diet. If you try and do everything - get rid of gluten, meat, dairy, all-the-goodness, alcohol, sugar - you're going to go crazy, last two days and then binge. The same is true in the job search. If you spend 4 hours one night "really getting after it", you're going to get so burnt out by the next night that you won't be able to look at it for another month!
Instead, this is what I want you to do: Do 5 things every night.
Just five. Not ten. Not one. Five things every night that help propel your search forward. I want this to be task-focused vs. time-focused. With tasks, you have things to check off instead of wandering around aimlessly online hoping that you will stumble upon that one dream job.
Not sure what I mean by tasks? Here are some ideas to get you started!
- Rework your LinkedIn summary
- Apply to a job via the company's career website
- Research a new career
- Re-edit your cover letter for a specific position
- Go to a networking event
- Send a cold email to a potential hiring manager
- Meet with a friend to talk about their work culture
- Tweak your resume for a specific position
- Reach out to your career center for some help with networking
- Practice just one interview question