Seeking work can turn into a full-time job if you let it—and that’s a problem if you must juggle job-hunting alongside studying, current work responsibilities, and family commitments. The trick is to take control of the time you spend by being organised and careful.
Think of job-search time as a fixed task on your agenda. Some people find it works best if done daily for one hour, others set aside part or all of one day per week. But make sure it’s scheduled, not ad hoc. Use a timer if necessary to keep you on track.
Before you get to work make sure you have everything at hand that you’ll need, to avoid the trap of stopping to search for documents or get a snack. Also, make it known to anyone you share space with that you need this task to be uninterrupted.
You should also create set times for making any essential job-search phone calls, taking into account time-zone differences and work hours in advance. This will help you avoid playing time-consuming games of answering-machine roulette.
Stick to job sites that specialise in your main work area, create good email search subscriptions, and set one or two times during your week to look through the results rather than always opening them straight away when they arrive. Otherwise, it’s too easy to be pulled into browsing through long lists of jobs you really have no interest in, at frequent intervals that invite shallow reading and lack of comparison.