Whether you’re a new college graduate or a seasoned career professional, conducting a job search can be one of the most frustrating, stressful times of your life … especially if you’re unemployed. Like so many things in life, your attitude and mentality is half the battle in achieving job search success. The most important mentality you can have is to treat your search as if getting a job IS a job. Here are Advanced Resources’ 8 favorite pointers for treating your search like it’s the most important job you’ve ever had …
1. Face the Day: If you’re unemployed and in a job search, now is not the time to sleep in. Get up, get dressed, and get going. Starting your day with purpose is key to feeling productive.
2. Make Space: Find some space in your home that you can dedicate to your job search. Whether it’s your home office, a table in the basement, or some counter space, claim your “Job Search Space” and optimize it for the task at hand. Organize yourself, make sure your space is well lit, and make your space inviting.
3. What’s Your Goal Today? Set daily goals and objectives for yourself. How many calls will you make each day? How many new connections will you make each week? How many networking events will you attend? How many applications/resume submittals will you make each day? Setting daily goals – and then accomplishing them – helps you feel like you’re making progress.
4. Be Accountable: It’s one thing to set goals; it’s another to hold yourself accountable to them. Share your goals with someone close to you and ask them to hold you accountable. Write your goals down and make them visible. Set rewards for yourself for achieving small goals – maybe it’s a walk with the dog, a piece of chocolate, or a trip to Starbucks. On some days, that sense of accomplishment will be enough to keep you going.
5. Track Everything: Keep a searchable log of all your job search activities. Write down the contacts you’ve spoken with, where you’ve sent your resume, the follow up work you’ve done, and calls you’ve made. When that recruiter calls you about your resume the last thing you want to say is “ummmmm…..what company are you calling from again?” Having a Job Search Journal will help you be on your toes. It’s also motivating to see everything you’ve done and it can build a sense of confidence that something is sure to materialize as a result of your efforts!
6. Watch the Clock: Establish set hours for your job search to make the process effective and to keep a healthy mindset. Although getting a job IS a job, we don’t recommend that you dedicate 40 hours to your search. 20 solid hours is a perfect goal so that you don’t burnout. Schedule blocks of time in your calendar – make appointments with yourself to be dedicated to your search.
7. Volunteer: With the rest of your time, do some volunteering or focus on some other pursuit. In addition to the good you can do for others, volunteering can help you build your resume, and it can also help you make connections that could lead to networking and job opportunities.
8. Feed Your Mind: Finally, use part of your day to keep current by reading industry journals, blogs, tweets/posts/updates. Take some classes in your field. Watch relevant videos on YouTube. Keep your mind active and take advantage of this time to learn something new. It feels good to learn, you might gain knowledge that could help you in your search, and again, you might make new connections that could lead to opportunity.
We hope these eight tips will help you stay “Job Search Strong.” What other tactics have you used during your search to stay motivated and focused?