A Disciplined Approach to Job Search

June 17th, 2020 | hereschicago

Career Advancement Tips

Author: John Potterton


A Disciplined Approach to Job Search

John Potterton

In recent weeks I have been asked for advice related to how to go about looking for new employment. In addition to ensuring you have a modern, professional looking resume and comprehensive LinkedIn profile, the one piece of advice I tell all my clients and friends (actually anyone who will listen for that matter) is to approach the business of looking for employment as your full-time job. Let me take you back in time to illustrate how important this is in helping you achieve success.

In early 2010 I was presented with something I had previously never experienced in my entire career – being laid off. After a week or so when the initial shock faded, I decided I better get going to find that next opportunity. One of the best moves I made was to attend an 8-week job transition workshop offered at one of the local churches in my community. It was during these 8 sessions that I learned from volunteer business leaders many tips and strategies for what to do, and not do, in order to be make the most of my job search activities. 

The one piece of advice that has stuck with me to this very day was to approach job search work as my full time job. I learned the value of being disciplined in my search activities and setting parameters around a work schedule. My workday began at 7:30am (an hour later than normal for me) and ended at 3:30pm, giving me 3 more hours of free time in the afternoon than I had previously when I was commuting and getting home at 6:30pm. When 3:30pm came about, I shut down the computer and ceased doing anything related to job search until 7am the next morning. I followed this schedule from Monday thru Thursday, and on Fridays I took the day off giving me 3-day weekends every week!

Keeping to this schedule helped me to focus on the job search during set business hours, and as importantly, gave me 4 extra hours of free time each day plus a bonus day off on Friday, all perks I had not enjoyed with any previous employer. I remember my wife encouraging me to keep to this schedule and telling me to cherish the freedom of extra personal time, as I would not have this opportunity once I landed a full-time job. She also reminded me to be disciplined during the hours set aside for job search activities so that these hours would be productive and rewarding.

I can’t stress how important this routine was to my mental and physical health. The extra personal time enabled me to take bike rides and walks where I gathered ideas and cleared my mind. Making dinners and learning new recipes was something I was able to do which I truly enjoyed. Being present to my family during more of their active waking hours also became part of my personal routine. What was happening soon became very clear to me – my new-found personal time which I used for relaxing, exercising and engaging in fun activities gave me all that I needed in order to focus 100% of my energy on job search work during my newly scheduled workday hours. I had more vigor and vitality for life than I had experienced in a very, very long time.

So if you have not done so already, be sure you schedule plenty of personal time each day, and give yourself some added perks so that when you are working on job search activities you will be at your very best. Seems simple, yet not always easy when we have phones, computers, tablets and gadgets to tempt us into blurring the lines between time for work and time for play.

In upcoming issues I will share tips and strategies for how to be most productive during your job search hours. Until then, get into a routine that works for you and keep to it.

About the author:

John Potterton is an independent consultant providing Career Advancement Services including professional resume writing, LinkedIn profile updates, career coaching and mentoring. He can be reached at 773.571.0171 or jpotterton@gmail.com


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