Career Calling

March 2, 2012

Establish a Timeline for Your Job Search

Yesterday I wrote about keeping your job search focused.  One way to do this is manage time well and hold yourself accountable for results.  Set a goal for landing a job.  Normally, I would say give your self 3-6 months.  However, since the economic decline of 2008, it is more difficult to find a job.  Budget 6-12 months to find a job.  That said, you should know that some people still find jobs in a month or less if they hustle – and have a little luck.

If you prepare your resume correctly and distribute to employers the right way (networking, responding to open positions), you should start being called to interviews in 30-60 days.  If that isn’t happening, you need to step back and reexamine your resume and how you are getting it to potential employers.  You also need to evaluate your level of activity.  Are you working hard enough to find open positions?

Once you start getting interviews, you need to manage your time with more care.  Prepare for the interview while you continue to send our more applications and resumes.  Even if you are getting second and third interviews, keep sending out more applications.  Don’t stop until you have a job offer.

Track your activities on a calendar.  Some experts say, “Finding a job is a full time job.”  While I agree with that sentiment, it’s hard to execute in the real world, especially if you are looking for a job while working.  For most people, 15-25 hours of focused activity per week should be a good goal.  Let me underscore the words focused activity..  If you meet a network contact for a two hour lunch and only spend 15 minutes talking about your career, don’t count that as two hours.  Be fair and honest with yourself measuring the time you put into looking for work. 

How you use time matters.  The better you manage time, the more successful you will be in landing a new job.


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