When most people think about job searching, they aren’t exactly jumping for joy. So, if you think you might be prone to procrastination, or you tend to avoid stressful tasks, a structured plan like this one will make it much easier to keep yourself on track. Structure will help you know what to focus on, and work towards every day, and it will also show you how far you’ve come, and how much work you’ve put in to getting yourself back on track, and having this in place will save you energy and time trying to decide what to do every day, because it’s already decided for you. First, outline weekly goals in your job search.
Throughout the process, your job search should involve a combination of the following things, reaching out to your professional network, making new networking contacts, and searching for open jobs. While most career advisors agree that your professional network is your greatest asset in your job search, it’s all necessary to work on establishing new contacts, and searching for open jobs. So next, keep a job search document or spreadsheet, where you write down your goals, and record your progress. This can be as simple as a Word document, or Excel spreadsheet. The most useful tracking documents will include tasks and info, like the jobs you’ve applied for, the application materials you’ve sent, company names and contact information, the interviews you’ve done, the career and job search websites you’ve set up accounts with, and your follow up with interviewers, or job applications.
At the beginning of your job search, you’ll also want to include tasks like updating your resume, and having it reviewed by professionals, or people in your network, making several versions of your resume to suit different jobs and industries, writing and practicing answers to the most common interview questions, writing a one-page bio of your relevant work history to get more comfortable talking about yourself, your accomplishments, your values, and your goals and crafting your answer to this tricky question, why are you looking for a job?
Luckily, there are plenty of great examples on the web for tackling this question, if you’ve just been laid off. While these won’t be recurring tasks that happen every week, it’s important to include them in your structured plan at the start.
The sooner you start to kick the dust off of your resume, and your interview answers, the more prepared you’ll feel when you start to apply to jobs. Each week, you should set goals to work on in each of these areas. Everyone’s goals will be a little bit different, depending on the types of jobs they’re going for, but here are some examples of goals to set. Email five current networking contacts, research ten companies of interest and apply to five jobs online, and then set daily action plans to accomplish those goals.
When you’re looking for a job after a layoff, treat your job search like it’s your full time job. Devote a large part of each day to job searching, and list the things that you want to accomplish that day to get closer to accomplishing your weekly goals. This will help you avoid procrastinating, because you’ve made it very clear what needs to get done.
Let’s review what it takes to make a structured plan for your job recovery.
Outline weekly goals for your job search, keep a job search document to track your progress, include important preparation tasks at the beginning of your job search, and set daily action plans to accomplish your goals. Recovering from a layoff can be a lengthy process, but creating a structured plan for your recovery will stop you from feeling so overwhelmed, and put you on a path towards success.