Must job searching be a full-time job?

Job Search

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At some point in their careers, many people will find themselves on the wrong side of a conversation with HR and will be victims of a layoff. This is a traumatic event, to be sure, and friends and family are likely to offer some well-meaning, but misguided, advice. One such piece of worn out advice that refuses to die is “Looking for a new job is a full-time job!” 


interviewThe truth is that it’s not about how many hours you put into your job search that is important. What is important is the quality of the effort you’re making. If you were to spend 30+ hours per week scouring job postings, navigating various applicant tracking systems, and sending out blind applications, that would not only be maddening, but it would also be counterproductive.  


I advise my clients to break down the job search activity as follows:


Networking—60% of the time. People will help people they know and like. Networking can be done both online and offline, although real-life networking remains the most effective. You can attend a professional networking meeting—check for a calendar of meetings in your field or your geographical area. You can network with others by becoming active in your community, or by volunteering. Remember that networking is a game of give and take. Don’t simply ask for help from your network—offer your assistance as well. 


Brand SignBrand building—30% of the time. Brand building is an ongoing exercise, but during a period of job searching, it should become a priority. You build your brand by creating the story that you want to tell about yourself. You do that by going out and meeting with people, by writing articles and posting them on sites such as LinkedIn, by speaking to professional and job seeking groups, or even by

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