Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Successful, effective job search requires balance of breaks, pursuit

Deb Koen
Business Columns – January 31, 2010 - 5:00am

Question: I’d like to know how much time I should be spending trying to find a job. My spouse says that I should be focused full-time, 100 percent, on my job search. Other people have said take some breaks. What’s best, and how do you judge this?

Answer: There’s a happy medium to strike here.

To your spouse’s point, a successful job search does require determination. And if you tend to dawdle or procrastinate, you’ll benefit from a structured routine with established timeframes to muster the necessary discipline. With those checks and balances in place, I tend to favor a holistic approach that incorporates a range of activities beyond clocking job-search hours.

Coming up with a formula that includes some of these kinds of activities will benefit your frame of mind, your personal and professional development, and your presentation. Here’s how:

Your frame of mind: If you allow your job search to become all-consuming, your energy will be drained and stress will take its toll. Focused search efforts combined with a variety of affirming outlets will help to keep your spirits up.

Your development: You can use a portion of your time to take advantage of training dollars that are available for courses to upgrade existing skills or build new ones, which in turn will highlight your motivation to potential employers.

Your presentation: Whether you network daily or venture forth only for job interviews, these social interactions are where lasting impressions are formed and hiring decisions are made. The ability to have engaging conversations will be aided by your ongoing active involvement in life. These activities not only make your life more interesting for you, they make you more interesting to others.

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