Staying Organized During Your Job Search
By: Clark Jenkins
Having been in a job search a few times, I know first-hand how difficult it is to stay organized during a search. Staying organized is a discipline that will require one to think through their short-term actions to attain their desired long-term results. While this is highly subjective, there are certain areas of staying organized that I have found essential to obtaining success during a job search.
Finding a job, changing careers or simply looking to add a side gig for additional income requires that you have a plan. Your job search is now your full-time job. Set time blocks to organize your day. For example, on any given day, your schedule may look like this:
- 8am-10am: Apply to 10-15 new companies with customized cover letters and targeting your resume to match the job description
- 11am-12pm: Follow-up on previous applications
- 12pm-1pm: Break/lunch
- 1pm-3pm: Research companies that you plan on applying for the next day. Find out something unique about the organization and leverage that information to your advantage.
- 3pm-5pm: Reach out to your network to ask for referrals and to simply let them know that you are in job search market. Remember to ask your network if there is anything you can do to help them.
- 5pm-5:30pm: Write thank you notes and emails, and make thank you phone calls. This applies to every touch that is made in the search including the interview, turn-down, referrals, coffee’s, etc.
HAVE A COACH
It does not matter what your budget is, you need a coach. This can be a spouse, a friend, a former colleague, someone at church or even a professional coach that you hire. You need someone who will speak truth into you, give you honest feedback, offer constructive criticism and someone who is going to champion you on even the smallest of victories. We are all stronger together than we are as individuals. Set time on your schedule to meet with your coach at least once every two weeks and measure results from your previous activity.
CHANGE UP YOUR RHYTHM
If you find that you have been in the job search for a considerable period of time, it is time to change up your rhythm. Get out of the house, go grab coffee with an old friend, re-engage with something that have always been a passion for you. Learn something new, take a class, start working out again. Spend the first thirty minutes of every day in a state of gratitude. A healthy you is a far more hirable you. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
ONCE YOU LAND
Now that you have moved on to your exciting new career, it is time for you to lift up the next person. It is now your responsibility to reach out to someone else in transition and offer your help. This could be through networking, coaching or offering to give someone a referral. Very often, when people land at their new career they tend to disappear as they become consumed in their new role. You will find that when you provide help to someone in need, you are the one that is ultimately rewarded.