Orville asked the listeners, all career coaches, resume writers, career counselors and related professionals, what the average amount of time a job seeker spends on a job search per week.
I responded that I spent 60 hours a week in my job search, and Oville said, “no, I don’t want to know what Jason Alba spent, I want to know what the average job seeker spends in a job search.”
He finally responded with an answer supported by some study:
The average job seeker spends 10 hours a week in a job search.
10 hours a week.
WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY DOING???
(this question is not strong enough, but the words I wanted to use instead of HECK will surely get me some emails today, so I try to keep it family-friendly here)
Are they trying to have a Tim Ferriss 4-hour work week job search? What are they smoking???
If you are in a job search you should be spending 10 hours a week just in lunches and “coffees!”
I know it’s discouraging, and hard, and you have to be creative, but seriously, if you aren’t spending at least 40 hours a week in a job search then you are dillusional. Or you don’t have bills to pay and you don’t have a sense of urgency.
I was at my laptop by 6am. I could not sleep peacefully as an umemployed father of 4 (and a half). I was anxious to get up and see what was in my inbox (usually nothing), and worked until around 6pm when I made myself pretend I was a competent dad and husband, and do some family stuff. Then, back up at 6 again the next morning.
Saturdays was probabaly a half-day, but it was a day I was on the computer.
I confess I did all the wrong things in a job search, because I was too smart to get help. So I did a lot of wheel spinning. But I know stuff now (I think), and if I were to do it now, I’d probably spend my time doing some of the following:
- Lunches and/or breakfasts and/or “coffees” every single day. (10 hours a week)
- Network meetings – weekly there were 3 or 4 for professionals in transition, and others for working professionals that I could have gone to. (10 hours a week)
- Computer time – crafting cover letters and tweaking resumes for different job postings, checking emails, responding to emails, etc. (5 hours a week)
- LinkedIn Strategy – searching for contacts and target companies, reaching out to them on or outside of LinkedIn (5 hours a week)
- Calling people, and networking my way into target companies – This is time consuming, and takes guts to pick up the phone (even if it’s to contacts you know) – but more effective than combing the job boards all day. (10 hours a week)
- Learning. Make sure what you are doing is principle-based – my job search wasn’t, and that’s why I was spinning wheels. Read the Career Hub and blogs from real coaches and resume writers who are in the thick of it with their clients. (5 hours a week)
There’s 45 hours right there. There are many other activities you can do – I guarantee it. If you think you can have a 10-hour-a-week job search, go for it. And for the other 30 hours a week, figure out 3 more 10-hour-a-week job search strategies and implement those.
I can’t believe people can justify a 10 hour a week job search, can you?