It's been said that "finding a job is a full time job", but it's difficult to spend 40 hours a week either performing rote tasks on the computer, or being out in the marketplace being told "no" all day long.
Dividing your efforts among three different job search strategies will not only allow you to work longer hours in your job search without going stir-crazy; it will also lead to better results.
In our program, we call those three strategies
- Opportunity Based. This is where you respond to posted job opportunities, whether found on the internet, in the newspaper, or on help wanted signs.
- Employer Based. This is where you target the handful of employers that you think you should be working for, either now or eventually. Invest time to get to know them and position yourself to be interesting to the employer BEFORE the job is posted.
- Contact Based. This is also known as networking. By reconnecting with past work associates and working with them in a mutual way to uncover opportunities, you never know who you will be introduced to.
If you are interested in details on the three job search strategies, go to our curriculum page and click on the Job Search Strategies link, or you can visit with MAM Employment Services Staff or Job Search Coaches to get a better understanding of how each of the three job finding methods is approached.
Many cannot imagine spending 40 hours a week sifting through online job searches, filling out online applications, sending out resume after resume into the internet, with very little response coming back. (I'm one of them). If you are job-hunting, you have to do some of it, but you can't make a steady diet of it. Just the thought of it sounds like a 20 year prison sentence to me.
Others cannot bear the thought of contstantly meeting friends-of-friends, re-telling their stories over and over, in the hopes that someone will make the critical introduction that will open the door to a new career.
The best way to deal with this is to do some of both. Spend 10-15 hours per week on the computer, checking your favorite job sites, applying for jobs, following up as necessary. By keeping up with your job sites, you won't worry about missing "the perfect opportunity".
Spend another 10-15 hours per week researching specific employers regardless of whether they have an ideal job posted at present. By researching them and getting known by those employers, you'll be higher up on their lists when the right opportunity opens up -- and you'll do a much better job interviewing, also, because you've done your homework.
Spend another 10-15 hours per week just networking. Don't worry about the fact that it might be a bit aimless. That's how networking is sometimes. Just focus on being reciprocal with everyone you meet -- it's not just about you getting a job, networking means you are looking for ways to help those you meet.
By doing these three things in roughly equal proportions, you'll find you can sustain a lot more energy in looking for work. You might like one method better than another, but by doing some of all three you have the best chance of finding your next big break.
Here's a diagram we use in our program to help clients get started in how they allocate their time. We hope it will be useful to you.
Good luck and happy hunting.