Would You Hire Yourself during Your Job Search: Looking for Work Is Now Your Full-Time Job
If you’re unemployed, looking for work should be your full-time job. Although your effort to look for work in this touch economy isn’t something you can put on a resume, your job search has to be your main focus, and that means up to 40 hours per week.
Does a 40-hour weekly investment seem too much? Think about it this way. If you worked for a company and didn’t spend every valuable moment doing something profitable and productive, you’d get yourself fired. If, in a perfect world, you could hire someone else to find you a job, and that person failed, you would fire him/her as well for failure to perform. Thus, if you’re not looking for work some standard number of hours every work week in effort to find yourself a job, you should probably fire that persona and take on a new, successful job search strategy.
If You Worked only 22 Minutes per Day, You’d Be Fired
A recent white paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research* reported on what the unemployed generally do instead of looking for work. It turns out people sleep more, work on their houses more, and attend to their medical care. But they don’t spend a great deal of time looking for work. Surprisingly, they spend only 1% of their time in job search mode. If a typical work week is about 37 hours (down about 9% over the last couple of years), this means that the average unemployed person is spending 22 minutes per day looking for work.
Your Job Search Plan of Attack
Every hour, every minute you spend on some other activity during work time is unrecoverable time lost that you could be using productively as you are looking for work. Use this list to jump-start your new daily grind:
- Join a Job Club. There are in-person job clubs, virtual job clubs, formal and informal job clubs—and all are designed to help you as you are looking for work. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, come to the Salt Lake City Job Club—it’s free. Call me at 801-810-JOBS to participate.
- Get training. You’ve got the time, so go take a class in something you can talk about in your next interview. It also fills that gap on the resume since your last position while you are looking for work.
- Shadow someone in a new industry or position for a day. Learn what they do. Ask questions. Pay attention. This might be your job target.
- Network with people you know—and people you don’t know. Expand your circle. Become visible.
- Apply intelligently for jobs. Your resume is one of the keys to your success. Tweak it for choice positions. Don’t know how? Don’t have a killer resume? Not getting those interviews? Call me at 801-810-JOBS.
Don’t just “do” something. Everything you do in your job search should have a purpose. If you don’t have a strategy and have no idea what the best use of your time is while you are looking for work, call me.
What do you while you are looking for work? Comments welcome.
* “Time Use During Recessions,” NBER, July 2011, http://www.nber.org/papers/w17259.pdf.