How to juggle a job and a job-search

Searching for a new job can be a very stressful but exciting time in your career. It may involve a lot of planning and will end up taking up a lot of your time, so when you are looking for a new job whilst also still working one, everything can seem to build up very quickly. There can be some difficulties whilst still working and looking for your new role, with time often being the biggest factor. You’ll be happy to know, that even though it can be hard, it is not impossible. Many people have done it and if you put your mind to it, so can you. If you want that new job and feel like you deserve it, all you need is determination and trust in your own ability. Work hard in both your work life and job-search and you will see the benefits.

Be Realistic

Make sure you are setting yourself targets in order to reach your goals, but make sure not to over-work yourself too much.  Your job-seeking goals can be daily/weekly targets, whatever suits you and your schedule best. Tailor them around your own needs, don’t let anyone else tell you how you should be doing things. You need to make sure you have time to do the basic day-to-day things a person needs. Eat well, exercise and sleep etc. Don’t compromise basic needs to hit an unrealistic goal. When you are still working, the majority of your time will be spent at your current job. So, it could be good to set aside a specific amount of time each day towards your job search. Make it realistic! Don’t spend 8 hours at your current job and then plan 4 hours of job searching, unless that suits you. If you put too much pressure on yourself, both your job and job search can see the strain. You shouldn’t rush the process, by setting yourself un-realistic goals, you may not reach them, and it can cause you to feel negatively about the whole process.

Schedule your time

Scheduling your time appropriately will help you massively in the long run. It will help you know what you are meant to be doing and when. It may help with productivity and you should be giving yourself regular breaks, whenever you feel like you need them. Breaks should be as long as you need to revitalise a little, if you’ve had a very busy day, giving yourself a few short breaks throughout the day should help keep you concentrated. Utilising small chunks of time that may suddenly appear will be good for your job search and the sense of spontaneity may help you. Take this extra time to brush up your CV or search job boards for new openings. If you do the quicker jobs when you have a little bit of extra time, it will help you later and affect how you use your scheduled time. Just make sure you aren’t substituting all of you lunch breaks for job seeking, in the long run, it can have some bad effects on your health. Other times, you may want to give yourself longer breaks, whether that be weekday evenings after work or whole weekends, you need to make sure there is still some time for you to catch up on other aspects of your life.

Keep your goals in mind

There can be some days when you may feel a little un-motivated or overwhelmed, especially if you have had a long or tiring day or week at work. Although breaks are good and are definitely needed on a daily basis, it is very important to keep your goals in sight. Make sure they are keeping you motivated and never lose sight of why you are doing this. Ask yourself “Why do I want a new job?” If you can still answer that question, use it to drive your goals. Whether you crave a new challenge or want to move away from your current area, make sure you are doing something about it. Nothing comes easy in life and you will only thank yourself later.

Stay Organised

Organisation is often vital for most things in your life. Whether that be your current job or home life, a little bit of organisation will never go unnoticed. A good tip when job hunting is to make sure you are keeping a note of all jobs that you may be interested in. Take note of the job titles and their online location, it saves time later when you are trying to re-find them. That way, you never miss out on an opportunity. A lot of job boards, like E&TJ, have the option for you to keep and record any jobs that you are interested in. If you struggle with keeping organised, it may be easier to use the resources the job boards provide you with. Keep track of time and make sure you are not resorting to job searching in work hours. Many job-seekers find it useful to keep a daily or weekly planner with them at most times, this means you should know what you are meant to be doing and when. Keeping all the information you need in one place, makes it simpler to find when you need it. Being an organised job-seeker can often be rather difficult at times, juggling tasks is not easy, however, keeping on top of things and staying organised can help the job-seeking process go a lot smoother.

Utilise your resources

Make sure you are using everything you have available to you. Make sure you are using job boards, social media, people you’ve met through networking, utilise everything you can. It will help you make the most of everything and help you reach your goals at your chosen pace. If you are able to, use connections and contacts you have made throughout your time at your current job. This may not always be an option but keep your eyes open for potential opportunities. Your industry contacts can be a very powerful tool in your job search. Making these contacts throughout your career and making sure you are keeping in contact through time, can be good for finding future positions. Your contacts may be open to sharing current vacancies with you. Try everything until proven wrong.

Go easy on yourself

Whether you are working a part-time or full-time job, having another big task on your plate can be a bit overwhelming. There may be days when everything can seem a bit impossible, so take those days to give yourself a break. There is nothing wrong with taking your time, especially if that’s what you need. Nothing worth doing was achieved overnight. There may be issues you will have to overcome but give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Job seeking can be a full-time job in itself, so if you are still working, take some time for yourself when you need it.  

There is no one way of juggling a job whilst looking for a new one and I can’t say that it will be easy. Make sure you are doing it at your own pace and be sure to set some time aside for other things life may throw at you. A set back is not the end, you can bounce back and try again tomorrow. What’s important is that you are doing this for yourself and you will look back on this experience and thank yourself for giving it your all. Keep going.

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