Today’s blog is inspired (as usual) by a conversation I recently had… the actual quote that got my wheels turning was this:
“Gosh Tom, everything you ask me to do really takes up a lot of my time”
This was after my third email asking for his finished assessment exercises. Yes, I said THIRD.
In case you were wondering, yes, sometimes people really do pay me for one of my coaching programs and procrastinate their way into a job search that is a tougher slog than it needs to be.
I’m not a psychologist, but I do have a few theories as to why this is:
• Discouragement at lack of progress in job search breeding a bad attitude
• Being lazy and unorganized are dominant character traits
• Maybe you really do have a lot going on
As a coach, I empathize with the life situations of my clients and blog readers…I get that life happens and that things fall into chaos at times… however, I would be failing you if I didn’t stress that for there to be success, there needs to be structure.
If someone by nature is lazy or disorganized, they need to change those habits if they expect to win… I also want to stress that this next statement isn’t a political commentary, nor am I saying that people don’t need or deserve 99 weeks of unemployment compensation, BUT:
If you are delaying the necessary efforts of job search because you have X amount of months of benefits left, you are doing yourself a horrible disservice. Opportunities that are there NOW, won’t be when you finally decide to get off dead center. They will go to those who earn them by digging them up and pursuing them.
Of course, nobody ADMITS to doing this, but it’s pretty obvious (to us coaches ) when it’s happening.
Let’s look at a structure you can implement so that you can maximize your time and efforts, but not be working around the clock:
Utilize the idea of “blocks of time” – break up the things you know you have to do into manageable blocks of time.
Get a calendar that you can write on… pick a two hour time period, and call that “research time”… let’s say you are a morning person, so every morning from 8 until 10, you aren’t doing ANYTHING, except looking for companies who employ people who do what you do. You aren’t looking for openings or position postings, rather you are targeting companies that employ people just like you. While you are at it, you would look for the names and numbers of the people who could either hire you, or help you learn about the company.
Pick another two hour time increment – let’s say from 10 until noon – You would label this time your “call period”… this is when you would reach out and call the names you dug up. Leave a voice message or don’t, that’s up to you, but make sure you make those calls every day.
After lunch, go take a walk with your dog, or play with your kids for a little bit, this will help you recharge… then at around 1:30, either make more calls until 3:30, or do more research if you are out of names.
After 3:30, this is when callbacks tend to happen, so be ready with what you want to say about yourself.
Personally, I advocate using evenings as the time to write introductory emails or Linkedin InMails, however, if the spouse comes home, and the kids are running around, this could prove difficult. Maybe get up earlier and do these tasks, or wait until they go to bed…whatever you do, don’t neglect the family.
Time management does need to be flexible, depending on your specific situation… if your search is just beginning, maybe take the entire morning to do research and name gather, then make calls in the afternoons. Maybe you do your best research at night, and that’s ok…the key is to be consistently doing something that always moves the ball forward.
Be aware…you might not find a contact name right away…someone may not call you back, or you might be told no… the idea is that no matter what happens, YOU apply consistent effort…THAT is how mountains are moved. Even if all you can muster is an hour for each activity, then do that…the key is to not frustrate yourself into playing on Facebook for three hours because it’s easy.
Lastly, if you have a hobby or an exercise regimen, do everything in your power to keep participating in them…even though you are out of a job, you are allowed to be happy and healthy. If you can maintain some fun in your life, you will have a better attitude and do better when talking to folks.
The bottom line: FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, JUST MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Until next time, I wish you all the best.
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach.
The Five O’Clock Club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster. The Five O’Clock Club also provides affordable, humane outplacement services to companies who care about the well being of their employees.
Tom is also an experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net