Updated: Nov 4, 2022
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The job seeking process can be a challenging time, filled with competing priorities and tasks. This article will help you succeed by focussing on what’s important and eliminating what’s not. We'll cover how to:
You may feel like you’re spending more time applying for jobs than actually landing interviews. That’s because job searching is now a full-time job for many people. It’s also a process that can be extremely frustrating and unproductive at times.
Unless you find the right balance of being proactive, organised and focused, your job search can quickly become overwhelming and leave you feeling lost. Working efficiently is essential when looking for a new position. As with anything in life, the first step is knowing where to start in order to begin making positive changes. There are many tips out there that are useful when it comes to streamlining your job search efforts and getting results much faster. Here, we will share some of the best ways to stay productive during your search.
1. Plan your week
Download your free copy of our Weekly Planner to help you structure your time so you can follow through on the tasks that matter.
When you’re busy searching for a new job, you’ll be juggling competing priorities in your current role or study, job search, home and personal life. It’s crucial to stay carefully organised so you can achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. Successful people know that scheduling is essential to staying productive. When you schedule in your job search tasks, it will help you feel more in control of your time and give you a sense of accomplishment by checking off items on your list. Plus, scheduling your job search efforts will also help you better manage your energy levels throughout the week.
Working harder isn't the answer
Hustling 24/7/365 isn't the solution for getting ahead! Instead, focus on your goal and the tasks that are truly important, and be disciplined enough to ignore what's not.
This kind of organisation and focus allows you to cut through the distractions and devote your energy to the tasks that will get you closer to achieving your next role.
2. Focus on the goal
It’s important to keep the end goal in mind as you progress through your search. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a step back and refocus on your goal.
It’s also essential that you remain positive and don’t allow negative emotions to consume you. Studies show that positive thinking is a skill that can be learned. You can use positive affirmations to help you refocus your attention and avoid getting trapped in negative thoughts. Affirmations can help you build confidence, develop a positive attitude, and increase your productivity when searching for a job.
Your mind expands what you focus it on
The habit we want to help you build is the daily practice of focussing on your goal.
Keeping your goal at the forefront is a powerful habit to have, because whatever you ask your brain to focus on, it will expand it. Your brain will find more and more energy and devote resources to solving that thing.
Focusing on your goal allows your mind to know what to look for throughout your day, your work week, and the entire year. You’re subliminally working in the background to keep yourself on track.
Use your Weekly Planner to focus on your goal. Write it at the top of the page, keep it visible in your workspace and bring your attention back to it whenever you get busy or distracted.
Constantly bring your focus back to your goal and ask yourself:
What needs to happen for this goal to succeed?
What is the first small step I need to take right now?
3. Prioritise your tasks
If you make a to do list and prioritise your job search tasks carefully, you’ll be able to achieve more during your search. We often see job seekers waste time on things that aren’t linked to increasing their chances of getting hired. In order to avoid wasting time, it’s important to make a to do list that prioritises the right job search efforts to get results.
We recommend keeping a to-do list to guide you throughout your job search journey. This will help you stay organised and keep track of the applications you’ve sent out, calls made and emails sent thanking people for taking the time to interview you. We know you have a lot going on right now, and keeping a to-do list will help you avoid overwhelm and stay on top of the essential tasks.
Use your Weekly Planner to-do list to jot down the key tasks you need to achieve to move forward in your job search. You can also use tools like Trello to organize your efforts.
Everyday you should hold yourself accountable for your actions. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a step here or there - just ensure that you consistently follow through with what you need to do to succeed.
Your weekly job search to-do list could include the following:
How many searches did I run on job search sites?
What’s the number of applications submitted? Were they tailored to fit the specific job qualifications and key words used to get the resume through the applicant tracking systems?
Did I contact or follow up with three to five people today in my network?
What did I do on LinkedIn? Did I offer original content and respond to other peoples’ posts? How many targeted new connections did I make? Have I made myself noticed as a subject-matter expert in my space and person of interest for recruiters to contact?
Am I remembering to conduct research on the companies and individuals that I’m interested and meeting with?
Did I practice my elevator pitch and prepare answers to questions that may be asked in the interviews?
This list is not meant to be all encompassing. It's intended to get you continuously moving forward in the job seeking process towards achieving your next role.
It's a great feeling to tick items off your Weekly Planner to-do list each week! It's a powerful way to remain in a positive mindset, focus on the process and keep motivated to take continuous action towards your goal.
4. Set calendars reminders for follow up
It's all too easy to get stuck in the endless loop of applying for jobs and never hearing back. If you’re serious about getting hired as soon as possible, you’ll need to be proactive with your job search efforts. You should constantly be following up with relevant hiring managers and recruiters to ensure that you’re progressing in the process.
After applying for a job, try to follow up with the hiring manager within 24 hours. It’s important to set reminders for yourself so you stay on top of your communication efforts with hiring managers, recruiters and interviewers.
5. Celebrate the small wins
It’s important to engage in positive self-talk during your job search. Trust the process and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Job searching isn’t an easy process, so it’s important to remain positive and celebrate even the tiniest of wins.
It’s common to feel like you’re going nowhere when searching for a job. This can happen to the best of us, but it’s crucial that you don’t let these feelings consume you. Keep yourself motivated and stay positive by celebrating even the tiniest of wins. For example, if you land an interview, celebrate that accomplishment and make sure you give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it!
Success comes from setting the right goals, finding your focus and making a habit of prioritising the essential tasks each week. By following these tips, you can stay focused and productive, even during the busiest of times.
Remember, your mind expands what you focus it on, and a person who focusses on what they want will achieve it!
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