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If you are going through a career transition or looking to return back to employment following a career break, one of the challenges you will face is not knowing how long it will take you to secure an interview or even a job offer. Job searching takes time and requires careful planning and prioritisation. Managing your time effectively during a job search is crucial for maintaining productivity and staying motivated.
Here are some tips to help you organise and make the most of your time:
The first question you should ask yourself is regarding the timeframes you are working to; when do you need to be in employment or secure a contract by? This will help you to understand the urgency of your job search. You may have received a settlement or a redundancy package that allows you time to reflect and to be more selective about applying for roles. If you are under financial constraints, you may find that your short-term goal is to get back into any form of paid employment to generate some income. Be clear on that date.
Once you know your timeframes, you need to be clear about your career plan. A lot of job seekers spend hours aimlessly looking through job boards and LinkedIn without any idea of what it is they are looking for. Taking the time to reflect on what is important to you will help you to create a Career Plan but more importantly, ensure you are clear about what you are looking for when spending your time job searching or talking to your network.
To become more productive with your career transition, manage your job search like you would manage your work diary and create yourself a schedule. You may choose to use a Google or Apple calendar or prefer writing a to do list.
Online job searching, networking, talking to recruiters, proactive approaches to companies are a number of ways you can look for your next career move. Plan these activities into your working week and consider your priorities. Be flexible, you may find you need to factor in high-priority tasks, such as tailoring CVs and cover letters for specific applications with closing dates. With job boards and LinkedIn available 24/7, some activities won’t need to take place during office hours, so think about how you want to manage your day/week around other commitments you may have.
Once you have established a schedule and are clear on the activities you will need to undertake, use time-blocking techniques to allocate specific blocks of time to different tasks. Think about your working week and plan in different job search activities. For example, you could choose to designate time in the morning for online applications and time in the evening to engage in new LinkedIn activity.
The Pomodoro Technique is a popular method that requires you to set a timer for a single task to focus your mind. However you choose to manage your diary, make sure you plan time for fresh air, exercise and fun activities to maintain motivation and avoid burnout.
Identifying your zone means making the most of your energy during that particular time frame. Are you a morning person or a night owl or do you sit somewhere in between? What time of day do you feel most productive? If mornings aren’t for you, don’t force yourself to use this time for the things you need to really focus on.
You can identify your zone by rating how energised you feel in the morning, afternoon and evening, using a scale of 1-10 (1 = not energised and 10 = extremely energised). Be honest with yourself in order to make the most of your ‘zone’. You may want to amend your job search schedule and those tasks you keep putting off, ensuring you are approaching them in your ‘zone’.
There are only so many hours in a day, so managing your time effectively is about maintaining a balance between being proactive in your job search and taking care of your well-being. Adjust your strategies as needed and stay persistent in your efforts.
Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help, you please email firstname.lastname@example.org