Looking for a new job is a project – and it can be a stressful one, especially if you’re currently unemployed. To make it better, I suggest you treat your job search as if it were a part-time job. Being organized and getting dressed everyday – as well as taking time for lunch and getting exercise, can help relieve stress. My experience is that a healthy, less stressed job seeker is usually more effective and more energetic - and that often translates into better results.
Here are some tips and guidelines to consider when putting your project plan in place:
- Set a goal for daily and weekly hours for working on your job search. If possible, set regular office hours for yourself.
- Don’t overdo it. Forty hours a week may be too taxing. Considering starting with 20 to 25 hours a week and adjust as needed.
- Create an organized, professional workspace for yourself. Sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal in your hand and a notepad on your lap may not be the best strategy for clear thinking.
- Make yourself presentable. You’re valuable. Treat yourself as such. You don’t have to dress-up in business clothes, but looking good contributes to a positive outlook.
- Each week, set goals and create a project plan for what you want to accomplish during your office hours. Here are some activities to consider:
- Spend time on your personal brand if you are making a career shift or change. Take time to take career surveys, do informational interviews and develop a clear awareness of what you want from your next position.
- Network in-person, on the phone and online. Online networking is important, but don’t overlook high touch contact.
- Develop new contacts by joining groups and attending industry-networking functions.
- Follow companies and apply for positions using targeted online job sites. There are many to consider, so pick the ones that suit you.
- Update your resume and cover letters as needed.
- Volunteer or take classes that improve or increase your marketable skills.
Last but not least, make time outside of your project schedule to connect with friends and share a few laughs. Because looking for a job is a job, you will benefit by taking time to recharge your batteries.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful hunt. By the way, what job search tips have worked well for you?