When Benjamin Franklin produced his famous quote about life, "nothing is certain except death and taxes," he must have forgotten about one other certainty... job hunting. We've all been there, scrolling endlessly through job listings with the hope that something jumps out of the screen at us while mindlessly sending out the same old resume with a false sense of optimism. Don't take the job search process lightly, however, as job hunting is complex. Don't expect to always get what you want, but instead learn to want what you get. Plan, strategize, and allocate time efficiently to shift your mindset to a more productive place and begin to see how your job search is a full-time job.
Job hunting is repetitive, often boring, and always draining. So, how can we change this? The first step to job search preparation is to accept the position that you are in, whether that be employed, looking for a new opportunity, or unemployed. It may or may not be the position you want to be in, but you are now in charge of what happens next.
To continue your job search preparation, ask yourself how much time you can allocate for yourself every week. Whether that be 20, 30, or 40 hours a week, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so make sure you know your limits, otherwise, you risk burning out and losing productivity. Once you've decided how much time per week you can put aside, the next thing to do is establish a daily routine.
Create a schedule that mirrors what a typical workday would look like. That means up and ready at 9 a.m. (don't keep pressing the snooze button!) and actively working for the next six to seven hours. You can even consider wearing office clothes and going to a cafe or a coworking space. If a time or place doesn't agree with you then change it so you can find what works best. Put yourself in a productive environment and start taking your job search seriously.
Now it is time to fill the hours of your day up. Whether you allocate your hours daily or weekly, make sure you outline the tasks that need to be completed and set goals that you want to achieve. You could devote three hours to searching and applying for jobs in the morning and then spend three hours drafting resumes, cover letters, and follow-up emails in the afternoon. Be specific, break down your day and avoid procrastinating! Just like a productive day in your full-time job, right?
Let's be honest, there are lots of bases to cover during your job search preparation, and your job search itself. It's not just about choosing the job that's right for you, it's also about the process that gets you to that moment. Job search preparation begins with assessing and defining yourself. Following this, you can begin planning personalized CVs, and cover letters for the types of jobs for which you will apply.
You will also spend time searching through job listings, completing online profiles, networking, inquiring, following up, and participating in interviews. These are just some of the many components of job searching and you will certainly encounter more. The main takeaway from all this is that job hunting takes a lot of time, especially if you want to maximize your chances of landing that dream job.
Job searching is a challenging journey but one that can be extremely rewarding. Be consistent, invest time in yourself and stick to your daily and weekly schedule. Treat it the same way as you would your full-time job. After all, your future depends on it.