24 September 2010

The 18-Minute Job Search

By Elizabeth Hanink

There’s a statistic much bandied about that claims the average unemployed worker in America spends 18 minutes a day looking for employment. Well, this statistic is probably as valid as the study that shows the average woman spends 18 years of her life in the kitchen. Both are most likely unknowable “facts.” Still, the first number does draw attention to the perception that many unemployed do not understand the need for diligent, relentless job hunting.

Think of it this way. When a politician decides to run for office, getting elected eats up every minute of his/her time. Office-seekers understand that just letting people know they are interested and posting a few articles on a webpage will not do the trick. Instead, days, weeks and months are spent in travel, working breakfasts and late-night strategy sessions. The campaign often lasts years.

You need to model your search in the same way — like a campaign. When you are unemployed, your job search is your work. It should take up at least eight hours a day. Some of the time will be spent networking; some will be spent researching or going to job fairs. You can volunteer or study to gain new skills, but all of your time should be devoted to getting that job.

While in today’s world you may not need to literally pound the pavement, your efforts should resemble that pounding in every way. Work comes when you invest significant time and energy into yourself and your search.

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