By Kevin Donlin
The following three job search tips have one thing in common.
Can you guess what?
First read, then guess …
1) Time Management
“Time isn’t money. Time is everything.” –Dr. Bernie Siegel
We each get 24 hours in a day. How you use this precious resource largely determines your success in finding a job … and everything else you do.
If you’re unhappy with how you manage your time, why not try a different approach and manage your energy instead?
Let me explain.
While we all get an equal amount of hours in a day, not all hours have equal value. Some of us are morning people and perform at our peak before noon. Others are afternoon or evening people, and have more energy at those times of day.
Why not take advantage of your natural tendencies and schedule your important tasks for when you’ll have the most energy? This is like riding a horse in the direction it wants to go.
If you don’t know when your hours of peak performance are, find out. Carry a small notebook or voice recorder (a smart phone has both) and record those times when you feel energized, as well as times when you feel sluggish.
Then, schedule next week’s job search activities during your peak-performance times. You will likely find that when you manage your energy effectively, the hours will take care of themselves – you’ll get more done and find work faster as a result.
2) Tweet and Blog Faster
You already know about blogs and social networking tools like Twitter. And you may know that they can help you get the attention of people who can hire you.
A blog is a great way to share your expertise with the world. Free sites like Blogger can get you started in an afternoon. The more you write, the more likely you are to be found by hiring managers seeking top talent.
Twitter is simply a micro-blog, where you’re limited to 140 characters per posting. It’s a good way to learn about potential employers and get on their radar by “following” their postings, called tweets.
What do blogs and Twitter have in common? They both require you to write – intelligently and regularly. Which is not always easy.
Solution? Stop writing from scratch and start reusing your writing.
Here’s how: Search the Outbox in your email program for topics related to your job search. Chances are, you’ll find a dozen or more ideas that can be pared down to 140 characters (for Twitter) or expanded into a full-blown blog entry (which need not be more than 400-500 words to get noticed by Google).
I’d have to take off my shoes and socks to count all the blog postings and Twitter tweets that began as emails. Now you know my secret.
3) The Gap – Mind It
“Our ability to be happy in life hinges on the single question of how we measure our achievements.” –Dan Sullivan
In his book, “Learning How to Avoid The Gap,” Sullivan observes that, when we measure our achievements against where we’ve come from, we enjoy a sense of progress. However, when we measure them against our ideals, the gap between where we are and our perfect outcome causes disappointment and frustration.
Should you give up your job-search goals entirely, to avoid this pain-inducing “gap”? Of course not.
But you should take time each day to note and celebrate your progress toward employment. Doing so creates a loop of positive feedback – you feel a sense of achievement, which boosts your confidence, which makes you likely to make more progress tomorrow.
I have counselled thousands of job seekers since 1996 and only a small number track their progress like this. The vast majority fall into “the gap” of unhappiness by treating each day of unemployment as a failure. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people struggle to find work, no matter what the economy is doing.
Try this today: Instead of berating yourself because you’ve been out of work for X number of weeks, track each day’s progress and note your achievements, however small they may seem. Sullivan suggests a “positive focus” on 5 achievements every evening.
Examples: finalized list of 10 ideal employers; surprised and delighted 5 people by mailing them a copy of a magazine article; set up a morning coffee meeting with old high school friend.
A pessimist might say, “I can’t take ‘progress’ to the bank. A paycheck is the only thing that matters. And right now, I don’t have one. There’s no reason for me to celebrate anything.”
To which I reply, “If you beat yourself up every step of the way, you’ll only arrive black and blue.” Seriously, if you’re feeling down about your job search, those negative emotions aren’t serving you. You must protect your confidence, just as you would a handful of dollar bills.
Because, without confidence, what employer will hire you? And where will you get those dollars?
Now, to sum up …
Today’s tactics total three. They all began with the letter T.
Is this a silly, sneaky way to get you to read to the end? Well, yes. Because you did. 🙂
More importantly, I hope you use just one tactic today, to get find work faster, starting tomorrow.
Kevin Donlin is co-author of Guerrilla Resumes. Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, CBS Radio and others.