Time Management Tips for Job Seekers


The job search can have one significant consequence—wasted time through poor time management.

To look for a job requires focus, planning and commitment. Unfortunately, many job seekers end up thinking they have “time” on their hands—a dangerous conclusion that can quickly derail all their best efforts.

To manage time wisely, you have to respond to the challenge every day. Yes, it is expected that energy levels will be higher at the beginning.

However, a fast start out of the gate can set the stage for a crash—usually just as fast as you started. When that happens, every day subsequently becomes harder to re-energize and refocus.

Some tips for effective time management during your job search. Use them to keep from burning out:

  • Set up set “office hours” when you will look for a job. A job search can be a full-time job; a part-time job if you are a “passive” candidate, someone who is still employed and looking. A regular schedule gives your search a pattern. It also puts you in the right frame of mind, giving your campaign the serious attention it needs. Set up a weekly and daily schedule, stick to it until you get a new job.
  • List objectives and set goals. Do it on a daily and weekly basis. Put a number on your objectives—such as new business networking connections. A daily plan could be two different names to your contacts. Don’t make them unobtainable, or you will set yourself up for disappointment. That is the last thing you need.  A baseline of goals will reduce the lead times between jobs.
  • Sustain a steady pace. Many people start with a hurried job search, with all their best efforts on the front end. If you don’t find a job right away, two things will happen: a rapid loss of motivation and a higher probability of long-term failure.
  • Reward yourself for hitting your goals. Treat yourself for a job well-done when meeting or exceeding daily, weekly and monthly goals. Treat yourself to lunch or take some time playing your favorite video game, as long as you do it on the off-hours.
  • Stay open to changes. A full-time job search should include considerations for changing circumstances and new prospects.  Be ready to jump at an unexpected opportunity on a moment’s notice.
  • Keep track of your progress. Review your performance periodically—as with any job. Be fair and impartial; examine what is working and what strategies need changing.

Having a complete job search strategy is not easy. It takes work, planning and effort but is certainly worth the effort. Your next career move is too serious to leave to pure chance.

The best way to success is through smart time management. If you stay focused, your job search should not last forever.

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