If you currently have a job, plan to spend at least one evening and a portion of a weekend day looking for a new job. More time is better. If you can, make phone calls at lunch time. If you have a cell phone, leave the premises of your current job and find a quiet place to make your phone calls.
If you’re not currently working, it’s imperative that you make a job search schedule. I see many clients who don’t spend the necessary time to find a job, and they run out of funds and then they panic. I find the less you do, the less you do. So try to stay active while you’re looking for a job. Social connection is especially important during the job search process, so do some volunteer work, find a part time job, do some babysitting, or at the very least, go to the gym every day.
Our recommendations for setting up your job search day are to:
- Shower and get dressed like you are going to work.
- Start first thing in the morning (and not too late—sleeping in is not productive).
- Look for a job at least 4 hours per day (when I look for a job I spend 8 hours a day).
- Vary your activities (internet, phone calls, networking, etc.) Don’t just look on the internet, job search strategies involve talking to people.
- Reward yourself only for sticking to your schedule (allowing yourself to watch TV when you haven’t completed your job search for the day trains your mind that it’s OK not to accomplish your goals.
- If you have a bad day, get back on schedule the following day.
- If you’re having trouble doing a difficult job search task, instead of stopping, switch to an easier task.
Having a daily structure for your job search and following it will help you avoid feeling guilty and give you a sense of control over your life. You will be taking action and you will find a better job faster.
To protect your Job Search time, ensure you set boundaries with your family and friends:
- Let them know what your job search schedule is
- Don’t answer the phone
- Post a sign to “avoid” interruptions