You find yourself at the end of a job and at the start of a job search. It then becomes pretty easy to do. You see it as an opportunity to kick back and slow things down a bit:
“I can catch up on my TV shows that I have piled up on the DVR.”
“I can get to those museum exhibits I have been trying to visit for quite some time.”
“I haven’t slept until noon in a long while.”
However, while this all sounds great, the consequence is costing you opportunities and long-term earnings. Instead of dialing it down during this period, you should be ratcheting up your efforts for several reasons:
Concentrated Job Search Effort Means Faster Results
When people talk about the length of a job search, they usually do so in terms of weeks or months. But what if you broke that down into hours? If you translated some of those six-month job search projects into hours, would you end up with only 120 hours of actual search effort (or one hour per business day)? Not a very dedicated job search. What if you concentrated those hours? At five hours per business day, that 120 hours would be reached inside of five weeks instead of six months. Also, remember that the longer you are unemployed, the more employers see you as a risk. The plight of the long-term unemployed you have been hearing about is real.
Keep Yourself Sharp by Staying In “Work Mode” During Your Job Search
Have you ever gone on an extended vacation and then had to get back to work? How long did it take you to get back into the swing of waking up early and putting in a full and productive day? Taking on your job search as though it were an actual job keeps you sharp and keeps your head in the game. If an impromptu interview pops up, you won’t have trouble remembering responses to tricky questions. Little things such as crafted “small talk”, firm handshake and posture won’t leave you. If conducting your job search diligently, you will stay in interview mode. Even a random elevator meeting with someone who can assist you can turn into an opportunity. Staying in work mode keeps you on your toes and able to recognize those opportunities. of course, your resume tools should be up to speed. Take the time to assess the resume in relation to your various goals and target the document accordingly. If you are sending the same resume to every employer, you’re doing it wrong.
Winning the Job by Attrition
Sometimes it is good to simply be the last person standing. At any one point in time during your job search, there will only be so many people in the market. Let’s say you rank in the 80th percentile of candidates available at any point in time. All things being equal, those from the 81st to 90th percentile are likely to land a position before you. The more intense your job search, the more likely it is that you end up being among the top available candidates before more 90th percentile candidates find themselves in the market.
If you just left a particularly stressful position, no one can blame you for taking a decompression week. But do but let it become habitual.