Job hunters: what do you do all day?

Time management has never been my favorite topic.  It can induce a painful realization that one never does quite enough in the day, or is that just me?

I’d like to examine several approaches to time management that are relevant and useful to the job seeker.  This posting is courtesy of Norma.

Norma, a job-hunting friend, recently shared her strategy for keeping track of her search.  I found her method impressive, and was delighted when she gave me permission to share it.

She has designed a form for each week, a kind of to-do list with room for comments.

Picture the standard paper, with the date of the week at the top.

Down the left she lists the seven days of the week.

By the correct day, she lists activities.  Calls, follow-ups, emails, errands, social events, reading, writing, going to church – it’s all there.  And some of her days make me tired to look at them.

The interesting thing is that those activities are in columns on the left half of the paper.  On the right, just as importantly, is space for comments.  Did they get done?  Is there follow-up?

I noted in looking at a sample week that not all of Norma’s activities rated a comment.  But those that did, she has moved forward to the next week.

What does Norma get out of this?

  • She never needs to reproach herself that she is just sitting around.
  • If the job search is unsuccessful, she will know how to examine what she has been doing and make some changes in emphasis,
  • When she does land a new position, she will have a list of nice people who said “let me know what happens” that she can drop a line to and update them.

I would suggest to Norma that she keep these schedules. I’d also suggest that she use highlighters for the most significant activities or connections.  And I’m really glad that she gives equal billing to friends, family, spiritual and social times.

Norma, thank you for sharing your strategy.  I know your ideas may inspire some other job seekers to get organized and stay that way.

Do the rest of you have some effective means of keeping track of your job search activities?  I would love to hear from you.

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