Getting Organized for the Job Search: 5 Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule that Works!

Getting Organized for the Job Search: 5 Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule that Works!

The job search is not the same as a job!
The job search is different from having a job – you are not part of a team, your mission is personal, and the dead ends and no responses can drain your energy, de-motivate you and worse – impact your perception of self worth.  So, the advice to attack the job search like a job and work a 9 – 5 schedule is missing something – consideration of what works for you!  This may be trial and error for a while but the important things is to jump in and start with something. The tips here are as important for your success in the job search as are the various tasks to be managed everyday in the search process.

Tasks in the job search process
As an association job seeker, you know that there are certain activities that you have to do during the traditional workday:
contacting people in their offices and setting up appointments
following leads for new connections and opportunities
interviews and appointments
participating in scheduled events
making follow-up calls and
handling time-sensitive communications.

And other activities you can do whenever you like:
customizing your resume
researching associations and people
managing job alerts
following up from interviews and networking
doing your email and
social networking communication.a

TIPS for Creating a Schedule That Works

1. Put it in writing. Take the time at the beginning or end of each day or each week to plan the next day or the next week.  If you don’t identify the WHEN of each activity, it is highly likely that lots of other “urgent” activities will take over your day – home repairs, visitors from out of town, taking care of something you have been meaning to do for years, cleaning out the garage, etc. And then you wonder why you aren’t getting he results you want to and you are “so busy”!  P.S. You can also schedule those “urgent” activities so you know when you are going to handle them.

2.  Take care of your whole self. Develop your schedule to match your daily rhythms (best times for mental clarity, highest energy, etc.) and to provide you the time to also take care of your mental and physical health.  Each day should be a good mix of productive activities for the job search, healthy activities for your physical health, and energizing activities for your mental health.  Take time to get fit, rebuild friendships, reconnect with family – and find the balance between actions that will move you toward your career goal and those that create a quality life for you and those you love.

3. Avoid the extremes – the all or nothing schedule: focusing only on job search activities or on getting all the little things out of the way before you settle down to the job search!  You know how this will go!

4.  Allow time for the unexpected.   Build in a buffer of time for things that take longer than expected or for those things that were totally unexpected.  Don’t cause your own stress by expecting things to go exactly as planned!  And others will expect that you have time to handle their unexpected things now that you are not working!  (That is a whole other topic!)

5.  Build in celebrations.  Recognize the small wins along the way in the transition process so you can keep regenerating your energy and enthusiasm.  Acknowledge yourself for being courageous, taking actions, overcoming procrastination and fear!

Set up a schedule that works for you.  Put it in your calendar.  Track your actual activities against your planned activities.  How do they stack up?  What is getting in the way?

Take a free assessment that will help you zero in on how to be more organized and focused.  Go to to take a free assessment and then contact me for a complimentary 30 minute overview of your unique strengths and maybe even the blind spots that are getting in your way.

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