Most people complain that their job search has been prolonged excessively. The average or median time that a person looks for work is irrelevant to a job search and only provides statistical information. The fact is that in today’s economic job market, people have a hard time finding what they want as many are highly competitive for very few jobs.
One of the reasons for such tedious job searches is that most job seekers just don’t know how to go about it and don’t know how to deal with it effectively. That is understandable because they are in the past would have Jobs so they never had to focus on looking for a job, and finding a job used to be easier, much different, and faster.
Another reason is that most people in transition do not have a defined plan of action. Can you imagine a military activity that is not well defined and thoroughly trained before the action begins? And what are the chances of success of a company if it does not have a reasonable budget and it is well managed? An old saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Another is, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.” The latter applies to those who are in transition. You must have an action plan that is written out and monitored at least weekly. By doing this, you can accomplish two important things: closely monitor your progress in finding a job, and once you’ve reached your goal, feel fulfilled and treat yourself well.
Some people approach creating a job search business plan in a simplistic way. others develop a sophisticated, complex spreadsheet similar to a budget in which they track progress, compare actual results against the original plan, and develop corrective actions for the future. Such spreadsheets can just be too much for some job seekers. Of course, there has to be at least a plan with a goal in mind. I recommend a stretch goal for both motivation and faster results. Developing such a plan is not difficult: divide your future months into weekly segments. When using a spreadsheet, create headings for the time you spend on activities that you plan to do each week, such as working out. For example, the number of hours you want to spend on training and learning about job search, as well as the number of hours you want to be involved in studying target companies, hours doing administrative work related to job search, hours for making phone calls and hours of one-on-one conversations. Other things you might want to track through headlines are the results of a direct mail campaign, applying for advertised positions, researching prospects in the hidden job market, and joining various network groups for job search.
Once the plan is put together, you may want to review it and compare your actual weekly activities to what is stated in the plan. Such a plan is a living document: you can make adjustments and changes as you see fit. And when you hit a headline goal, find a way to reward yourself. That would be a good motivator to move on and keep using your plan. Do you remember Pavlov? Good luck.