Time Management for Job Seekers (and Everyone Else)

It’s funny, but it seems that issues faced by job seekers come in waves. One week everyone is telling me that their problem is getting interviews, the next it’s interviewing, and then it’s all about the resume or cover letter.

Now it seems to be about time management. “There are just not enough hours in the day. How am I supposed to apply for jobs, network and interview and have time to eat, sleep and see the family?”

So let me tell you:

First, set up specific times for each function: Since it is imperative to apply for jobs early, make certain to apply for advertised jobs first thing in the morning.

Second, spend late mornings and early afternoons setting up networking meetings.

Third, some evenings should be spent at networking events, but most should be with family and friends. You still have to have a life!

Fourth, obviously, interviews take priority over everything else. So you go to interviews whenever they are scheduled.

That leads me to my fifth and final point, prioritization. As long as you prioritize when you have a conflict in your regular schedule, you’ll be fine. But just remember, and maybe this is the sixth point, you have to set reasonable expectations. There are a lot of things that are simply not in the control of the job seeker. You can’t set a goal of an interview a day. It is not going to happen. It would be great, but it is a totally unreasonable expectation. And if that is the case, all you are going to have is frustration. Frustration leads to a lack of productivity. A lack of productivity means no interviews or, worse, bad interviews.

So create a schedule, but set your priorities and expectations.