Allocating time for Job Search

Updated 3/6/14

clockAllocating time for Job Search

Job Search, like any other job, will be far more successful if you properly allocate your time to the tasks associated with the job.

Being hap hazard, random, inconsistent or un-focused with your time will not help you to be successful.

Here is a breakdown of high level activities associated with job search that if you follow will make you far more successful:

First of all, you have to invest a lot of time up front doing a review and deep dive analysis of “Who am I?” If you are not clear on who you are and what you want to do, you’re going to be unfocused and less successful.

You are not your last job title, industry or organization you worked for. You are bigger than that.

Spend time reviewing the activities you have done in your career and life. Try to qualify them as to what activities you enjoyed and were successful doing. It’s a big list and again, far deeper than your title.

Also, spend time talking with the people who know you. They may have some insight into this big question you have for yourself, “Who Am I?”

Get this question answered first so that you can create focus on what you wan to do.

Once you know who you are, have your initial Marketing material built, you can jump into the activities necessary to find that next great job or business opportunity.

How many hours a week to spend on Job Search activities

It’s your full time job, until you get another full time job. Treat it as you would treat any other full time job.

Here is a breakdown that I encourage you to use for this activity

Marketing Material Refinement – 5%

This activity is related to your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn Profile and any other online content. Once you know who you are this content should not change much at all. Maybe a few keyword tweaks, reorganization of content, a new recommendation or two. But generally speaking, your Marketing Material needs to support your focused goal.

Applying for Jobs – 5%

Far too many job seekers are investing far too much time applying for jobs. The reason they are wasting time doing this is because they either don’t know who they are or they are acting desperate. If you do the right things in your job search you will not waste time applying for jobs that are not you and that you are not totally convinced you should get.

Get over the feeling of success when you click apply and see that application go into the great ether of the job search world. It’s not helping you unless you “are that job” and have made some connections around and in the company you are applying to. (see below)

Professional & Personal Development – 5%  (added 3/6/14)

Regardless of whether we are the best at what we do and the best person we can be, we all have to constantly be improving and enhancing our skills.

Regular, even weekly learning is how we continue to thrive in life and our careers. It’s also how we find new ideas and skills that we can use to re-engineer ourselves for new career or business ideas.

Make sure that you are investing in your self, your career and your future by regularly learning.

Research – 30%

This is a critical part of your job search. Research creates knowledge, ideas, awareness, possible connections and organizations. Research lets you find companies who you have never heard of before who may have a need for your skills and expertise. Research helps you to develop new ideas of the types of work you could do and even positions you have either never considered or never heard of. Research is important in order for you to be different than all the other job seekers. Research gives you information about the companies, industries you are interested in. Research helps you to learn about company cultures, organizational changes, new companies in your region and people you need to connect with to keep your research growing (informational interviews).

Research is critical to your Job Search success. Get a library card and use their business research tools. Use LinkedIn and Twitter as research tools.

Failure often occurs because we do not have enough information. A job description and company website have only so much information. Look for way more and be better and different than all the other job seekers out there.

Networking – 55%

The most important thing you can do in your job search is to Network. Most experts in the career transition world tell us that 80%+ of all jobs happen through good networking.

Networking is where you get into conversations with the people you meet along your way.

Start with your front row, or inner circle, the people who already trust and respect you, maybe even love you. They may not know about a job opportunity, but likely they know someone else who may have ideas for you to consider, new people to meet. And, the cool thing about your front row or inner circle, they are likely to introduce you to other good people.

Networking is all about getting to know the person you are talking with. Ask opened ended questions, get to know them and get them to know you.

Networking is not about asking for a Job. – Repeat after me, “Networking is not about asking for a job”

You should never ask for something that you do not know exists. Instead, during the conversation as you get to know each other, once the conversation allows ask this question, “Who do you know that I should connect with?”

If you have done a good job of getting to know the person you are networking with and they have learned enough about you to trust and respect you (even if only a little bit), then they will be eager to share another one of their connections with you.

Read the book, “Networking for Mutual Benefit,” if you want to learn more about networking.


First spend time to determine “Who Am I,” and build your initial Marketing Material. This will take a lot of up front time.

Then slice your time up so that you are investing it in the most important and productive activities.

  • Marketing Material – 5%
  • Applying for Jobs – 5%
  • Personal Development – 5%
  • Research – 30%
  • Networking – 55%

Worry solves nothing

Worry solves nothing“Worry empties today of it’s joy.” unknown

Worry solves nothing

During any change in life, including the loss of a job, worry rears it’s ugly head and begins to chew away at your life.

It’s important to remember:

Worry solves nothing.

It steals your time, your energy, your desire, your ability to think logically and deliberately. Worry prohibits you from coming up with ideas, plans, solutions and activities that can actually solve a problem, regardless of what the problem is.

Worry solves nothing.

This quick little article is not intended to help you handle worry, but instead to get you to think about some ways you can handle worry. How can you put worry in it’s place, as far away from you as you can push it?

You can learn to handle worry, not make it go away, but handle it, by reading good books, listening to good seminars, praying, helping others, spending time with positive people and making decisions in advance, just to name a few ideas that you may be able to do.

You can learn to handle worry by focusing your energy, time, passion, thoughts, activities and words on positivity in everything you do, say, think, ponder and write.

Since worry solves nothing, I encourage you to find a way to handle worry. If you can come up with four or five deliberate and recurring methods of doing this on your own, here a few resources that I think may help:

Norman Vincent Peale – Power of Positive Thinking

Dale Carnegies book – How to deal with worry and start living

Read quotes about why worry is not good for you

Your Bible, Torah, Koran or other similar religious books

Visit good people in your Church, Synagogue, Temple, etc.

Listen to children playing on a playground, good music, a comedian, etc.

Again, I don’t want to pretend that the ideas I have for handling worry will work for you, we are all different people with different ideals, thought, resources and people in our lives.

However – I can only pray that you’ll find a way to help yourself deal with worry, because:

Worry Kills and Worry solves nothing.



Focus can help you find the right job

Focus can help you find the right jobThis is a guest post from a job seeker I met who wanted to share his story.

Focus can help you find the right job

From Robert:

I did not lose my job, I left it to save myself.

After working for over 2 years in a highly stressful operations management job that drained me of my energy, robbed me of my self respect and confidence, and strained my home life, I decided to spend the serious time deciding what I should be doing.

During the next 4 months I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next. My knee-jerk idea was to get back into an operations management position. My soul and worn out body kept telling me this would be a mistake.

I used LinkedIn to stay in touch with my connections, make new connections in the area and relevant industries of my past positions. I also worked hard to connect and network with various recruiters.

Thinking that a big shift in career would be a good idea, I took real estate classes. But, I knew deep inside that I did not really want to make this big shift. Taking the classes and learning the real estate business however kept me busy and led me to my soon to occur epiphany.

While studying I met a Keller-Williams Team leader who gave me a copy of the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller (founder of Keller-Williams) and Jay Papasan. I highly recommend this book.  While reading this book, the words leaped at me and gave me clarity and became a significant epiphany in my life. The book spoke about channeling your energy on being good at one thing. Many people, myself included, try to wear too many hats and are not able to do this well. I knew hat I was good at operational management. I also know that I am good at Lean Manufacturing. I also knew that my previous role as an operations manager demanded far too much of my time, energy and life. 80+hrs/week is not a healthy life work balance for anyone, and expending that much energy in any job does not allow for consistent quality results.

Focus can help you find the right job

I decided that focusing on Lean Manufacturing would be a much better career choice for me. I enjoy this work and know that I am successful doing it.

Once I made this focused decision, responding to the recruiters who wanted to interview me for operational management positions became easier. I had received two good offers and two solid opportunities that I could pursue. The pay was great, and companies were good organizations. However, despite all of the potential, I declined these positions because they were contradictory to my new focus on a Lean Manufacturing position.

Up until I made this decision I had not received any leads or job opportunities in the Lean Manufacturing area. I decided that with my new focus I would start searching more deliberately in this area.

I had no idea of the importance of this statement until this happened – Focus can help you find the right job

I’m not sure how this happened, but soon I found a job on with a local Greensboro NC company. I saw the posting the day before the posting was to close. I quickly prepared a good cover letter and relevant resume. With time running out, I posted my application before the closing time.

I received a phone call on 7:30AM the next morning. I did not expect this rapid of a response. I also had no idea that I would interview 7 different times via phone, Skype and in person. In less than a week I received a good offer.

Even though the income is less than what I was making, the job, working environment and the ability to implement Lean Manufacturing locally, in multiple states and internationally, is a professional challenge that I am excited about being apart of. I get to coach younger supervisors and managers as well as expand my Lean Manufacturing experiences in many different ways.

I have no idea where this job will lead. Maybe a long term engagement, maybe a spring board into a consulting business.

I would never be able to tell this story if I had not read “One Thing” and made the decision to focus and channel all of my energy on being an expert & great in one area of business.

Remember, Focus can help you find the right job

Thanks for letting me share this story.


TLB Presentation Videos – Desire, Attitude & Passion

These are the videos that I periodically use when I am discussion Desire, Attitude & Passion in life, business, career & community.

If you have some other ideas of videos that can help introduce Desire, Attitude & Passion for life, business, career & community, please let me know what they are.






Searching for a Business Manager

Business ManagerCould you be a part time Business Manager?

A retail business in Winston-Salem North Carolina is looking for a business manager.

Today it’s a ~$500K business. Lots of growth is very likely with the right team and business manager.

The best person for this position will be someone with these talents, skills, experiences and successes

  • a Business Professional with business management experience
  • Intimate understanding of a P&L as a business manager
  • Experience with a business with rapidly moving inventory
  • Knowledge of best practices for Point of Sale Systems used by entry level associates
  • Business experience managing a team of 4-5 people
  • Knowing how to budget fixed expenses and variable expenses
  • Knowing how to contract great partners in the business spaces of marketing, legal, finance, etc
  • Able to coach the team and focus on success for the business
  • Someone who can be dedicated to the business and business success
  • Someone who values these words, trust, respect, honesty, support, giving, working hard

If you are a Business Manager – let’s talk


Are you a networking fanatic? Want to do it better & different than others?

Read my Book – Networking for Mutual Benefit

How to create enthusiasm

Three girlfriends in white T-shorts jump togetherEnthusiasm can change your life

Enthusiasm makes stuff happen

Enthusiasm works

Often the stuff we have to deal with in life can squelch our enthusiasm.

Job seekers and anyone trying to make new connections thru their networking activity must have some enthusiasm about them.

So what do we do if we just are not enthusiastic?

How do we counter the lack of enthusiasm we may have? We all know that lots of things can drain us of energy and enthusiasm – our children are ill, our parents are dealing with a serious disease, the bills are piling up, the car needs to be repaired, our partner is not supporting us, the roof is leaking or any of the unimaginable number of negative and painful things that we have to deal with.

It’s not easy, but I think I have a few ideas that may help. Any chance we have to increase our enthusiasm, to make us just a little bit more upbeat, to but a little spring in our step and a bigger smile on our face, will help us when we are networking, interviewing and even when we are just trying to have an OK day.

Here are some basic ideas to consider:

  1. Call a friend who loves you and have a quick chat
  2. Pick up a baby and hug them. Tickle them and listen to the baby laugh
  3. Listen to your favorite music artist
  4. Read scripture or a psalm in the bible
  5. Read or listen to a poem
  6. Tell a joke to someone who laughs really loud
  7. Hug someone who you know needs a hug
  8. Call a friend you have not said hello to in a while and talk about what they are doing
  9. Ask a friend to hug you
  10. Look at a picture of someone you love and remember a time when the two of you played and laughed together.

How do you pump a little enthusiasm into yourself. Take your mind off the stuff that is dragging you down and focus on something that makes you happy, smile or laugh. Think about making yourself  just a little bit happier.  Your problems won’t go away, however you will feel better about yourself at that moment.

Once you take yourself thru one or more of these activities, head off to your interview, phone conversation or networking activity. Keep thinking about the happy stuff that helps you, even if just a little bit.

Strive to be a little more enthusiastic. The benefit will be that you will be a little more successful with the task in front of you.

If you want to take your enthusiasm to another level – read Dale Carnegie’s book – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

When I learned about day-tight compartments and how to accept the worst thing that can happen to me, this book changed my life and elevated my enthusiasm and attitude to a completely new & better level.

If you have any other suggestions of how to be more enthusiastic, please comment belown

Your Skills are stale

This is part 16 of the 16 post series.

“The dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to their changing environment. We shall disappear if we cannot adapt to an environment that now contains spaceships, computers — and thermonuclear weapons.” Arthur C. Clarke

“Employees who don’t constantly develop and experience new ideas, tools, or systems will themselves become extinct.” ~ @NCWiseman

Often I meet individuals who had the same job for 15, 20 or thirty years. Some learned new ideas, tools or processes, but many kept doing the same thing and never developed new and improved skills.

Unfortunately, the employees who never developed new skills or refined their existing skills, are the ones who struggle the most to find a new job when that time comes (& it will come).

I wish I could tell every employee out there, before they lose their job, that they need to do some professional development activities, NOW! Unfortunately this is not going to happen.

So, what options do you have if you have not developed any new skills or improved your existing ones?

There are three, but only two are going to help you

  1. Write your resume and create your LinkedIn profile boldly displaying the skills you have today
    • Since you have not done any professional development work, you should know your current skill set is outdated and likely unmarketable.
    • This is the option I do not recommend
  2. Start now working on refining, improving and adding to your skill sets
    • Use your local community college system to get training on the skills they can help you with
    • Use professional training programs available to you to get more specific and unique training
    • Consider volunteering or interning in a business where you can learn from others while providing some value
    • Promote your ongoing development activity on your resume & LinkedIn profile so that recruiters and hiring managers see that you are improving while you are searching for a job.
  3. Don’t give up
    • Believe in yourself to get better, to improve your skills and to find that job that will fit your newly improved and refined skills.

Once you get past this career snafu – learn by this mistake, because you will be looking for another job one day in the future.

Resume Styles

Chronological Resume – A chronological resume starts by listing your work history with your most recent position listed first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order with your current, or most recent job, first, followed by your other jobs. Chronological Resume Example & More Info

Combination Resume – A combination resume lists your skills and experience first. Your employment history is listed next. With this type of resume you can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and also provide a chronological work history. Combination Resume Example & More Info

Functional Resume – A functional resume focuses on your skills and abilities, instead of on your chronological work history. It is typically used by job seekers who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history. Functional Resume Example & More Info

Resume With Profile – A resume wtih a profile statement includes a two or three sentence summary of your skills, experiences and goals as they relate to a specific job opening. Resume With Profile ExampleResume With Profile Statement & More Info

Targeted Resume – A targeted resume is a resume that is customized so that it specifically highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Targeted Resume Example & More Info

Mini Resume – A mini resume contains a brief summary of your career highlights and qualifications. It can be used for networking purposes or shared upon request from a prospective employer or reference writer who may want an overview of your accomplishments, rather than a full length resume. Mini Resume Example & More Info

Nontraditional Resume – Nontraditional resumes include infographics, online portfolios, video resumes, personal career-focused websites and blogs, social resumes. Nontraditional Resume Examples & More Info


I found this information on under and really liked the articles. Therefore, I decided to share it and not write my own.