Allocating time for Job Search
Like any other job, Job Search will be far more successful if you properly allocate your time to the tasks associated with the job.
Being haphazard, 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 a 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 want 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 that 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 must constantly improve and enhance 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 yourself, 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 that you have never heard of before that may need your skills and expertise. Research helps you develop new ideas of the types of work you could do and even positions you have never considered or never heard of. Research is important 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 open-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 asking 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 upfront 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%