Why You Should Take Outplacement Services if they are OfferedNovember 21, 2014
Outplacement Services: Why Companies Offer ThemJanuary 18, 2016
“I’m having a very relaxing job search,” said no one ever! Trying to find a new job is stressful. And daunting. And overwhelming. We have an infinite (often impossible) number of things to do, and an increasing number of concerned, caring people offering advice on job search strategies, that add action items to our mounting to do list. While advice such as: “just network more!” is scary and reminiscent of the expression “eat a whale in one bite,” breaking down the action items into too many small moving parts can also cause analysis paralysis, or job search breakdown! But, fear not: just the right amount of structure can set you (and your job-search related night terrors) free.
Define Your Target Job
A favorite topic here at The Career Strategy Group is about defining your target job. (This advice alone will save you days, if not weeks, of unnecessary time.) If you take time to “Ready and Aim” before you “Fire!” you will draw more of the right opportunities to you.
For example, just recently a client came to us after a frustratingly long job search. Prior to coming our way, she was sending out resumes for jobs in HR, Marketing, Sales, PR and Office Support. Her resume was unfocused. And, she was tired. We quickly regrouped and got clear on her best fit. For her, it was easy. She wanted to do marketing, but her fear of not getting a marketing job was haunting her. She thought having a broader target (“I’ll take anything!”) might make things easier. We suggested that she target her resume to Marketing Consultant, add relevant keywords, and join (and get involved in) some marketing associations. In less than 3 weeks, she had selected a mentor, and secured informational interviews with key players in the DC marketing space. Her confidence was up and she was excited about her direction.
Time Chunk Your Day
According to motivational icon, Tony Robbins, time chunking is the art of “grouping together information into ideally-sized pieces, so they can be used effectively to produce the outcome you want without stress or shutdown.” And, shutdown IS avoidable by creating categories of actions—frequent job search activities—and setting aside time on your calendar to complete them.
For example, you could set aside time to research companies, write a cover letter, or refine your interview stories. If you block out time on your calendar for each task, you will keep yourself in a routine and avoid distractions. According to Priscilla Claman, Harvard Business Review blogger, “a daily and weekly schedule will provide the structure that will enable you to have a sense of accomplishment” which is especially important during a job search, where confidence is often in short supply.
Nothing interrupts your workflow like a constantly chiming cell phone! Create a separate email for non-work related offers such as newsletters and online shopping deals. Limit yourself to checking this email once or twice a week, and only once all after your important job search related tasks are completed.
If you are a Gmail user, Batched Inbox is a brilliant a tool, delivering your emails at times you specify, so you can focus on what matters. According to BatchedInbox.com, you can schedule your email around your workflow, not your workflow around your email. Doing so will enable you to collapse your email checking and processing periods, and stop the distracting “ping!” that begs your attention, but takes you off track!