In today’s super competitive job market, if you are in between jobs, it might take months before you get a job offer. While this sounds discouraging, with the right attitude and strategy, you can make the most of your job hunt period and ultimately shorten it significantly.
Chances are, if this is your first time job hunting, or if it’s been years since you’ve last been in this process, you are probably confused as to what you should be doing and might lose focus. To help you avoid job search burnout, we’ve gathered a few tips from employment program representative Christopher Harris.
Define Career Goals
Well-defined short-term and long-term goals will give you something to strive for and help you stay focused on finding employment. Make sure your goals serve as a plan and criteria to help you quantify successes and failures along the way.
Looking For a Job is Your Full-time Job
You should dedicate 8 to 9 hours each day to your job hunt, and you should organize and plan your days as you would if you had a full-time paying job. “Divide your time up between online job searches, tailoring resumes and submitting applications, checking and responding to emails, making phone calls, attending networking functions, job readiness workshops, job fairs, and following up with existing networks,” says Harris.
You should also find a working space free from distractions where you can really focus on your task at hand – your local library, coffee shop, or home office are some options.
Make Good Use of Your Time
Have more to say than “I’ve been applying for different positions” when a hiring manager asks you what you’ve been doing since your last job.
Read professional and self-improvement books, volunteer a few hours a week, or even take on a short course – why not learn a new language? Showing potential employers that you’ve kept busy, proactive and current will give them a much better impression.
It’s important to regularly look back to what went well, what could have gone better, and what simply went wrong. It will help you see your progress and help you improve and move on.
Lastly, it is important to keep a work-personal life balance. Remember to focus on finding employment when “at work” and to focus on your family and friends when with them. Exercising is also crucial to help you relieve stress and keep optimistic.
Keep focused, keep positive, and good luck.