By Margaret Hansen
Like a Second Job
Imagine a non-paying job that stresses you out, challenges your abilities, can seem to have no end in sight and is entirely managed by you.
Welcome to your job search.
In a recent poll, 33% of participating job seekers told us they spend between 20 to 30 hours per week job hunting. Another 14% of the group said they spend 40 hours per week searching.
Manage Your Time
Here's why finding a job needs to be a full-time endeavor:
- Networking matters. There's more to it than just updating your resume and applying to the right jobs. Although these are an important part of your search, they're just the beginning. Make sure your taking the time to contact former colleagues, bosses and clients - people who know your working style. Let them know you're looking for a job in your field and ask for a reference.
- Online self-marketing is here to stay. Technology has recently changed the act of finding a job and now several free and paid websites exist to market yourself as an employee. Most career-focused social media sites are free and can help you connect easily with others and link to samples of your work on a free blog, for example. Getting references just got easier, too. It can all be done with a few clicks and they live forever on your profile. Get familiar with these and take advantage of what's offered.
- Old-fashioned follow up shouldn't be a rush job. Once you've invested enough time networking, you'll start landing interviews. Be sure to get the names and titles of everyone who interviews you. Then, take the time to send them a sincere thank you note, underscoring why you think you'd be great for the job. Instead of treating this as an afterthought, put some real thought into what you say. But don't write a long letter. Being brief and to the point takes some effort. Just a well-thought out point or two is all you need.
- Job searching is exhausting. Rarely is there a time when you have such an open-ended schedule with so much at stake - financially and otherwise. Performing well in an interview situation takes every bit of your strength not to seem desperate, yet not too cool, either. If you've taken the time to get your resume in good shape, apply to the right opportunities for you, market yourself online, network, and follow up with sincerity, you'll have enough energy to get the job of "job searching" done well.
Make the Investment
Make sure that your job search has a healthy investment of time spent wisely. It will pay off in the long run.