Searching for a job is a job in itself. The challenging aspect of the job hunting ‘profession’ is that you are your own boss and your future is in your hands. Treating your job hunt like a regular job will help you develop a serious and professional approach in the overarching mission of landing a job.
To successfully adopt this approach, you have to be self-disciplined, highly motivated, organised as well as keen on networking with influential people through social networks and physical contact. Make the most of the following tips to snap out of your unemployed lifestyle and take on your newly acquired employed status of a full-time job seeker.
Start Your Day with a Purpose
To begin with, having clear goals and objectives is just as important in the job search as they are in a real job. Set a weekly action plan instead of acting blindly. Set goals for the numbers of resumes you will send out every day, the number of phone calls you will make and the number of networking events you will attend.
On top of this, determine your time frames for each of the activities or actions related to your job search. Ideally, try to be at your desk every morning by 9am if not sooner and schedule regular breaks in between. Organise your daily agenda in advance and prioritise your tasks according to the level of their importance.
Remember that you are as accountable to yourself as you would be to a manager regarding the results of your performance. You need to set benchmarks for your job search efforts and assess the extent to which you have accomplished your goals. If the results are not satisfactory; you need to figure out what hinders the effectiveness of your job hunt and possibly change your strategy.
Keep Track of Your Job Search Activities
Keep a searchable log of all your job search elements, such as contacts you talked with, resumes you have sent out, calls you have made, follow-ups you have done, networking events and social functions attended. Keeping track of these activities in an organised manner will prevent you from duplicating actions and help you identify key trends and opportunities.
Dedicate Space to Your job Search
You might probably spend time searching for a job at home so try to customise your space according to the task at hand. Ideally, optimise this area in such a way so that it reminds you of your old workplace. Don’t change your habits. If you had flowers in your office then decorate the room you conduct your job search in with fresh flowers. Your work habits should remain unchangeable even if your main job is now finding a job.
Maintain a Work-life Balance
Just as maintaining work-life balance is essential in a regular job, it is equally important during your job hunt as well. Experts recommend sticking to a ’20 hours-a-week’ schedule devoted to activities that could lead to a job. Volunteering and participation in special interest groups for example can help you network with people who can show you the path to landing an interesting job. Constantly be in the business of meeting new people who share the same passion as you, either at a training session, class or at virtual spaces such as industry blogs, social networks, discussion boards, etc.
Take these opportunities to reinforce your job finding efforts offline to make the job hunt process more sociable, interactive and pleasurable.
Refresh Your Social Media Footprint
Just because you have a job doesn’t mean that your social media footprint should remain unexploited. Sharpen your online presence on LinkedIn and other social media which communicate your personal brand. List the jobs you have had, the job opportunities you were interested in, how you succeeded and from that point, fine-tune your vision for your next job.
But the key is to use social media in order to interact with employers. Set a goal to contact at least ten people you know or LinkedIn contacts by e-mail or phone calls. Let them know that you’re actively seeking for your next opportunity in the market and ask them to introduce you to other people looking for someone in your field. To make the most of networking and winning more contacts you have to build a refined and professional profile.
Don’t assume that because you are working at your desk in your home that it’s fine staying with your robe and slippers. I can tell you for sure that the day will come when you will suddenly be called for an interview and if you are not ready to go… the opportunity is gone! The biggest challenge of job searching is that you have to be prepared at any time to attend networking events and meet people outside the comfort zone of your home. Research shows that by getting dressed and looking presentable, it actively motivates you to be more productive. So be sure to get up, washed and dressed before you begin your daily job search.
Just as you would prepare your business suit for a normal work day, you are expected to do the same when your mission is to pursue a job opportunity. Don’t wait till the last minute to make sure your outfit is presentable. This might cost you the job.
It is clear that a job applicant’s routine resembles more or less a worker’s lifestyle. Make the most of these guidelines to ensure the best career prospects possible. Nothing comes without sacrifice so you need to work hard, systematically and persistently to boost your personal brand, bond with people in key positions and make landing a job a dream come true.