Job Search Time Management

I’ve been on my own for almost 5.5 years.  Before that I had a lot of freedom to manage my own schedule, but once I lost my job I found new challenges with managing my time.

I no longer had to account for commute time, lunch, and the normal office breaks/chit-chat.  I got about 2 hours each day given to me because I didn’t have to worry about those things.

The thing is, since I had those 2 hours tied up, I had to make sure I was productive in the other parts of my day.

I also knew I had to do all my work before I went home, since I had drawn a boundary between work and home.

As a job seeker, though, I had too much time, and I had no boundaries (it’s easy to check one more email, or send one more resume, from bed).

One major problem job seekers might have is simply managing their time.

It’s easy to put off MUST DO tasks that are HARD (like calling someone) to do “only do this when you are bored” tasks that are really easy.

In fact, doing the easy tasks usually make you feel productive… but they usually aren’t the things that get you closer to a job.

How do you prioritize your time as a job seeker?  What are the tips/tricks to get the right stuff done, and not drown in “nice-to-do-but-not-impactful” tasks?

Here’s my single tip: DO THE IMPORTANT/HARD STUFF FIRST.  FIRST, at the beginning of the day.

If I put it off too long, then I’m not in the mood to do it and can find useless stuff to make me feel busy.

But I continue to neglect the main, important stuff.  Day after day, it gets put off.  And I find the little, easy, non-important things don’t help my stress level, or my productivity.

In your job search no one is watching over your shoulder to see if you are doing what’s right.  You have to figure out what’s right, and then do it.

Do not let tasks and lists and time manage you – you manage them, get the job done, and get results.  Landing a job earlier because you have an effective job search can be worth thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars!

(this post was inspired by Jerry Albright’s post titled: Choices……..)


  1. Dan on January 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Great summary for time management. One thing I like to do is prioritize my top 3 things I want to get done and make sure I complete those, even with all my other distractions. I will leave at least 30% of my time for all the unexpected things that pop up so that I make sure my top 3 things get done. Great suggestions.

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