What do you do on a weekday, holiday, or slow day? You know, the days when no one seems to be around? Even the automated e-mail replies aren’t coming back to you? You know what I mean – this is the wierd part of the job search. It definitely is tempting to “play hookie”, take some time off or “call in sick” on your job search.
Actually, it is quite easy to do this. But if you are serious about your job search you have to keep at it. If nothing else, having some personal daily goals will be helpful here. Here are some example goals – note that the number is based on your personal situation (seriously looking vs. “just keeping your ear to the ground”):
- I will make 10 new contacts a day (put them in your network in JibberJobber)
- I will do 1 informational interview a day (could be at a target company, as you network in with different people)
- I will make contact with 1 new company each day
Note that you can have a goal of submitting x resumes per week but you must ensure that you are not after crazy numbers on resume submissions (like to all the jobs on monster) – it has to be reasonably balanced with other parts of your job search. Yes, submit to real job postings, but don’t have a goal of 70 per week just to have 70 per week. This will lead you to an artificial feelings of successful work. Get the point?
Here is what I think would be good for a slow day, especially a Friday:
- Make sure to meet your daily goals (as per above).
- Take some time (enough to do this exercise justice, but don’t dwell on this too much!) to recap the last week and see how your daily and weekly goals went. Were they realistic? Do you see any positive results from what you’ve done?
- Plan your next week. Take the goals that you have and figure out your game plan – how are you going to make 10 new contacts on Monday? Or each day of the week? Who specifically will you call, at what time, and what will he ask him/her?
- … did you meet your daily goals (see #1 above)….
- If you have any loose papers take care of them. All those little notes with names and numbers and dates – put them into JibberJobber once and for all.
- Take some time to make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically (get out of the chair and go on a walk – even if you don’t feel that you deserve to) and your loved ones (if you have kids, spend some time with them).
It is hard to gain a proper balance since you should be looking for a job, and you have a sense of urgency to do so, but you also have to maintain your sanity.