QUESTION: I am currently managing a family and working 50+ hours per week (thus the job search), how do I efficiently squeeze a job search into my already overcrowded schedule?
Search with PURPOSE! A targeted hour of search is better than 5 hours of sending applications anywhere. Identify companies/positions of interest, make sure your resume is updated, and create personal connections. Ex: If you find your dream role, look through the company’s LinkedIn to connect with the hiring team and/or members of that specific department to boost your visibility as a candidate.
Be selfish. It’s your career. Write down your priorities and stick with them. Learn to say “no” and redirect time wasters (including bosses). Set at least 1 hour daily for job searching. Get family on-board with your goals and have them schedule activities while you work. It’s OK for people to be uncomfortable, don’t let their discomfort distract you from your goals,
“Set aside 5 minutes 3 days. Day 1: optimize your LinkedIn photo and headline. Day 2: create job alerts so you don’t waste time job searching, let jobs come to you via Indeed, LinkedIn, and industry-specific job boards. Day 3: group email your closest peers to share your career goal, ask their confidence and support. Allow yourself to take baby steps.”
Many people say they don’t have time to exercise but we all know we can fit in exercise if we get up earlier or minimize how much time we spend on reading, watching TV, etc. The same is true for a job search. You need to prioritize the job search and dedicate at least 15 minutes a day (ideally 30-60 minutes). By doing so, you can apply to the jobs you are most qualified for in a timely manner.
Start by setting aside small amounts of time to identify your target job. This could be online research or aptitude testing. Post your updated resume to sites that aggregate open positions, like Indeed or LinkedIn. Create automated queries that will save time by regularly notifying you of jobs that fit your target. Customize your resume and send out a few quality applications per week.
Talk to your family. Help them know how important undisturbed time is. Pick a 30-minute slot and keep that appointment with yourself each day, without fail. Divide your search into achievable steps for each time slot. Work on that and that subject and that subject only for that day. Repeat the above. Share results with your family and get feedback. Repeat daily.
You’re probably spending many hours on job boards. After all, most people look for a job online. But most people land a job through networking. So, step away from the keyboard and network with recruiters and friends. You can [continue to] hit the job boards occasionally, but odds are you’ll see how recruiters and contacts will do a lot more for you than you can do on your own.
Time scarcity is real, which is why prioritizing your goals is so important. Block out chunks of time for activities like updating your resume, networking, and submitting applications. Set boundaries for family time and honor them. Delegate responsibilities to open up your schedule. Having satisfaction in your work benefits your family. Share your concerns with them and ask for their support.
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