If you’ve been job searching for longer than you would have hoped and haven’t made any progress, it might be time to ask yourself why. Sometimes, the answer is obvious and other times, there may not even be one single reason. However, if you’ve been feeling negatively towards your job search, it might be easier to just go back to the beginning and start again. If you keep dwelling on the jobs you didn’t get and keep a routine that doesn’t seem to be working, then nothing is going to change. If something isn’t working, there is no point in carrying on. Try and take some time away from your job search and think about what changes you can make to make it more successful.
When you’ve been job-seeking for a long time, you can get stuck in the same repetative daily routine. Doing the same boring thing every day can leave you feeling deflated and unmotivated. You need to find a routine that brings a positive change to your days. To restart, means changing your habits. Swapping your boring day inside to a planned day of activities can help you feel better about your job search. I find that the best way to change your routine is to plan a daily or weekly calendar. Planning your activities can switch up your day and help you leave the feeling of boredom behind. We have an example of what your daily plan could look like below.
7am: Wake up, have breakfast and try to do some exercise.
9am: Check your emails for any updates or job alerts and reply to emails if applicable
10am: Use job boards to find, read and save prospect jobs to apply for later.
11am: Take an hour to look over your CV and see if you can tailor any parts of it for the jobs you found earlier this morning.
12 – 1pm: Lunch Break (This is very important, take a break!)
2pm: Schedule in a phone call. This can be with recruiters or other people in your network – You don’t have to have a phone call every day, but talking to someone can help break-up your day)
3pm: Apply for at least one of those jobs you found! (This could take an hour or more, depending on the application process of the job)
5pm: Finish admin for the day, saved jobs, plan tomorrows day accordingly and then finish your search until tomorrow.
This is a full-day plan and is designed for people that are either un-employed or have one day of the week, maybe on the weekend, dedicated to job seeking. However, the same sort of routine can be adapted for people that are also in full-time work. You just have to start your plan after your working day. So, it might look something like this;
8am – 5pm: Work
6pm: Get home, prepare dinner and take a break.
7pm: Browse job boards and save any jobs of interest
8pm: Apply for one job and save the rest for tomorrow!
9pm: Take some time to wind down and plan what you will do tomorrow. – Either something to do with tailoring your CV or filling out another application!
Job-seeking is all about finding a balance and making progress in your own time. Understanding that not every single day has to be the same will really help with your progress. Having a daily plan like the one above can help with time keeping and will switch up your day, hopefully making it less boring and repetitive for you. If you over-run on one of the activities, don’t punish yourself. Make sure you schedule in more time for the other activity tomorrow and you can catch up. Job seeking is about more than just looking for jobs, it’s about networking and learning more about yourself as a professional. Your days will be tailored to you and they can sometimes differ to what you have planned, embrace the change and don’t beat yourself up when something does change or goes wrong.
When you wake up in the morning, you want to feel refreshed so either get up ready for your day of work or get ready as if you were going to work (If you are unemployed). It’s always good to get in a bit of exercise, whether that be a walk in the morning or in the evening but getting outside and away from your workspace is very important, you shouldn’t feel restricted. You want to have lunch away from your workspace as well, get out and go for a networking lunch, or read a book on your break. The whole day should not revolve around one thing. You will also find it very useful to have an end time, just like you would in a workplace. After this time, try and switch off and enjoy the other things in your life.
Prioritising your time
Getting into a routine will definitely help you prioritise your time. However, when you are writing your daily or weekly plan, make sure you are completing the hardest/longest tasks in the morning. You are more likely to have more energy and motivation to work in the morning, so try and make the most of it.
Make sure you know what you want to achieve each day. If you are working towards certain goals, prioritise your time accordingly. As well as work, you will have other in your personal life. If these things are important to you, make sure you are giving them time. When people get too caught up in a job search, they can forget about other important things. This can sometimes be what leads people to hate their job search and lead them to start again. You don’t want to be making the same mistakes this time around. Once you take the time to re-organise and restart your job search, prioritise the important things. You will see a difference.
Clean up your social media
If you become overwhelmed with your job search, it can be very easy to forget certain aspects of what makes a job search successful. One of the things that can easily slip your mind is your social media accounts. When you restart your job search, it would be wise to pencil in some time to make sure that your accounts are up to date. You want to make sure that you are following the right accounts, posting relevant content on your page and overall keeping active.
The last thing an employer wants to see when they click on your profile is either an inactive account or a page where you post things that are not related to your job search. You don’t want to be sharing inappropriate posts, make sure that your social media is up to scratch.
It’s not something that you have to commit to every single day, but make sure that you are being active every few days and at most, twice a week. You want to make sure that the CV you have linked to your pages is up to date, the image is appropriate and that you are following relevant career pages. You can even set up relevant alerts for when these carer pages post jobs. You should really take advantage of what social media can offer your job search. Even if it is just to read about other professional’s experiences, networking and finding likeminded people can really motivate you.
CV and cover letter
If you feel like you need to restart your job search, the first thing you should be working on is your CV. This is what you are going to send to employers, for a lot of job seekers their CV is the first line of contact between them and a potential employer. After you have taken some time to plan and restart, your CV should be the first thing on your list. It might not need that much work, but you want to ensure yourself that this is not the thing getting in your way of success. You can read more about your CV over at E&TJ. Click here to read about the Do’s and Don’ts of your CV layout.
What are your goals? Why did you begin this job search in the first place? Stopping and taking some time to recharge and think of a new game plan is not failure. It shows that you are strong minded, you have noticed a problem and you are working hard to change it and turn it into a success. Failure is what drives job seekers away from their search. You have not failed and make it very clear to yourself. There are simply hurdles that you have to jump over. Remember your goals and why you set them in the first place. Plan how you are going to start again and how you’re going to reach them. The key to starting again is to focus on your accomplishments and there will be some!