In this guest post, Patrick Hankinson shares some insights on maximizing productivity on your job search. Patrick is the founder of Hello Focus that is building tools to make the world more productive and less stressed using data science.
Too often, looking for a new job is a case of “hurry up and wait.” You find a job suitable you are interested in, but the application period closes at the end of the day. Or you get a call from a hiring department who wants to conduct a first interview as you are racing to pick your daughter up from daycare on time.
We all know the process of looking for a new job can seem like a job in itself! How do you manage to hold down a life when you’re trying to look for a new job? Sometimes, tweaking your day to maximize your productivity is all it takes to not only juggle, but excel, in both life and switching careers. Let’s take a look at how to tune up your productivity.
As you’re preparing to interview for a new job, take the time to start notating what is going to sell you to a company’s HR department. Chances are, when you’re brushing up your resume, you’re not going to remember every accolade, new program learned or the specific steps you took to reduce spending at your last company.
A program or app like Evernote, Google Keep, Simplenote or other apps can help you capture those snippets of memories that you can use to enhance your resume or prepare you for those interview questions. Collect these thoughts throughout your day and review them as you’re updating your resume or preparing for an interview.
While you’re collecting notes about yourself, keep a list of people who can support you in your search. Reach out to them and let them know that you’re in the process of changing careers. Not only is it good to keep your list of references refreshed, but by reconnecting with these peers, you might just find other doors opened to you in companies that haven’t even began to put together that initial job description.
Make the most of your optimal time.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you find your most creative times are when you roll out of bed before your family wakes up, or do you need two cups of Joe before you can put a coherent thought together? The most productive people know exactly when they are functioning at their best, and know that they need to dial into those times.
If you are trying to review your resume again, don’t try to slog through it when you’re exhausted and feeling negative. Wait until you are feeling you are on your game to take care of business. Polish that resume, respond to any job-related correspondence, and create your application cover letters during these times. You’ll find you can work through these tasks quickly and can get back to your regular tasks.
Be okay with rejection.
It’s rough to apply for a job and not even get a call back. Or to leave an interview just sure you’ve nailed it… only to have a “thanks, but no thanks” voicemail the next time you check or messages.
Everybody has their stories of rejection…
Steve Jobs was actually fired from Apple: the company he created! He kept moving, focused his efforts on companies such as NeXT and Pixar and eventually returned as CEO of Apple.
Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein was expelled from school and he was later rejected for admittance into Zurich Polytechnic School. Now, his very name is synonymous with “genius.”
Walt Disney declared bankruptcy when an early business venture failed.
Chicken Soup for the Soul masterminds Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were rejected more than 100 times.
These are only a few examples of failures. But think about it: What would have happened if Steve Jobs decided not to pursue any other ventures after he was canned by Apple? What if Beatrix Potter gave up on her dream of having her beloved children’s books published? What would the world of the horror flick look like had Stephen King given up writing after Carrie was rejected time and again?
It’s okay to be rejected, but it’s not okay to let that rejection rule you. Review your interview material and tweak that resume again.
Keep ‘exercising’ your job search.
It’s harder to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re tired or not feeling so hot. The same thing happens when you spend an extended amount of time looking for a new job and sometimes the task is going to seem so elusive you don’t want to look at one more job description.
Fight the urge to procrastinate about opening that online job board. If you need to, bring in a friend or family member to keep holding you accountable and set a goal. Perhaps it will be to send out your resume to five companies in a week, or to follow up with three potential employees by March 8. Regardless, keep the momentum going!
Get ready to succeed.
It’s inevitable: that “you’re hired” call is going to come in. Don’t wait until that moment to start thinking about the transition. Do you have any loose ends with your current employer or your personal life that should be wrapped up before you start in a new job?
A good employee is going to hit the ground running with a new career. Make sure you’re not the person who has to take an afternoon off during your first week on the job to go shopping for the washing machine that has been trying to die for two years.
Making a career change can be a daunting, time-consuming task. Taking the time to prioritize your day and organize your approach may save wasted efforts and missteps along the way.