Staying Focused in Your Job Search

Staying Focused in Your Job Search

When you're on the hunt for a job, it's vital to stay focused. Staying focused means having a clear process, good time management, and standard daily habits. It's easy to lose focus when you're not being hired despite spending hours every day on the job search. Therefore, you need to conduct yourself in a certain way to achieve the end goal.

Be careful. If you focus on the outcome, your mind will drift. You get a job by working the process over and over again. You can't control the timing. You can control your attention to the details of the job search process. Always focus on the things you can control.

True Interests Will Keep You Interested

When looking for a job, it's important to know your interests. Carefully review any job you apply for to be sure that you can find it interesting. Applying for jobs because you're desperate for any work you can get is a sure way to lose focus in your job search. Recruiters and hiring managers can tell when you're desperate. They would rather hire someone who is really interested in the job.

Before you apply for a job, research the company's values and their latest work in that industry. Reading about something you're actually interested in doesn't only give you a break from mundane tasks, but it also reminds you why you're doing this in the first place. If what you read is not interesting, don't apply.

Using different platforms to prepare yourself and grow is another way to spark your motivation. YouTube videos and podcasts are both useful tools that can bring an entertaining element into your job search routine. Falling asleep reading an article? Listen to a pro in your target industry and get inspired. Passion coming from like-minded and successful people stimulates motivation.

The Power of Visual Motivators

Your job search runs on to-do lists. Find what works best for you, a journal, an electronic spreadsheet, or a whiteboard. Write your tasks down in order of priority and deadline. Then, assign these to your daily plan. Lists help to stay focused as you cross out each task. It's a good idea to complete the hardest task at the start of the day. Checking things off your list motivates you further. It makes the rest of the tasks seem significantly easier to complete.

A categorized chart is another approach. Create a visual that's organized into different categories. Include networking, applying for jobs, skill building, and industry research. Color-code them. Assign a color, and the detailed activity in that category, to each timeslot in your day.

Alternatively, fill the slots in at the end of the day. By the end of the week, you can review how many of each color/activity you've done and adjust your priorities. This will visually help you avoid spending all week applying for jobs and doing zero networking.

Know Your Environmental Weaknesses

With technology and, more specifically, social media, we have distractions at our fingertips. In moments of procrastination, it's just too easy to find something more interesting than your job search. Firstly, avoid multitasking. A few hours of focused work are more productive than a whole day of multitasking. More importantly, the environment you conduct your job search in is key to staying focused.

Our homes can have infinite distractions. In moments when your job search is getting especially dull, a pile of washing or the dust behind the TV will faster get your attention. Know where you genuinely can get work done. That may be in a coffee shop or a library. Being around other people working on their laptops will improve your job search focus.

Two Heads are Better than One

Keeping yourself accountable isn't always easy when you're feeling disappointed. Going months without employment is sure to dull your mindfulness. Find a job search buddy. This could be an ex-colleague or a responsible friend who won't distract you. Better yet, find someone who is also looking for work.

Have weekly check-ins to discuss objectives, share what you have learned, and digest emotions. You can swap activity records to inspire new methods and productivity. An ex-colleague with a full-time job simply won't be on the same level emotionally when the disappointment kicks in and you're feeling fed up. Having someone on the same wavelength will also inspire you to have an activity log you're proud of sharing.

Take Home Message

It will be difficult to maintain focus throughout your job search. Manage your time well and know what environments work best for you. Prioritize your areas of interest and recruit someone who's in the same boat to help each other's process. Remember to manage your stress well and your organized job search will be successful.

Written by Career Specialist Feb 02, 2023
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