This article was originally posted in the TriadCareers.com on 4/18/14 by Teddy Burriss.
Being haphazard, random, inconsistent or un-focused with your time will not create success during your career transition. And we all know that you want to be successful while in career transition.
I get asked this question often, “Teddy, how much time should I spend searching for a job.” My answer is, “Don’t spend any time looking for a job. Spend 40+ hours a week doing the important stuff that will help you uncover your next great job.”
It’s important to know what you want to do first. Once you know this, break down your career transition work into five deliberate activities:
Marketing Material Refinement – 5%
A resume, cover letter, networking profile and LinkedIn Profile are some of your marketing materials. After you have built this content, spend time each week making sure they are accurate and speak clearly to who you are.
Applying for Jobs – 5%
Stop applying for jobs, it’s a waste of time. This is because most people get desperate and apply for jobs that really are not for them. If you do the right stuff during your career transition you won’t waste time applying for the wrong jobs.
Don’t rush applying for a job. Do some of the other activities listed below first. This will make applying for that job more successful.
Professional & Personal Development – 5%
Always be learning and improving. There is no exception to this rule. Learn by attending classes, reading good books and blogs, joining relevant industry groups, even hanging out with smart people. Spend time improving your mental and physical health as well. Not only will this make you a better person, which is important to you, but it will improve your career transition success.
Research – 30%
This is a critical part of your job search, which is why it’s a big piece of your time commitment. Research creates knowledge, ideas, possible connections and discovery of new organizations. Everyone is applying for the same jobs at the same companies. The reason this is happening is that most job seekers are not researching to uncover hidden companies and career opportunities.
There are lots of research available to you, if you are willing to invest the time doing this work. A job description and company website only have so much information. Doing research beyond this information will help you be more successful.
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 not asking for a job, this often does not work. Repeat this out loud, “Networking is not asking for a job.”
Networking is meeting somebody new every day and having an open conversation. Start networking with people you are close to. They are often the best first connections to other great conversations and ideas. The most important question you can ask at the end of the conversation is “Who do you know that I should talk with next?”