Seeking a job can turn into a full-time job – from finding suitable jobs to apply for, to researching about the company and tailoring your CV to fit each job role. This can soon become depressing and frustrating as you try to juggle your present work responsibilities, demanding relationships, self-development and family commitments.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You need time to improve yourself. You need time to nurture your relationship. You need time to focus on work responsibilities (even if you are paid peanuts). Job hunting should not have to drain most of your time and resources. It should be treated as what it is: A job hunt, and should be managed like that or you won’t have a life!
How to Manage Your Time and Job-Hunt wisely.
- You need to make up your mind, what field you are interested in. I discourage applying for every single job position you see or hear about. Instead focus on what interests you. Is your interest in Engineering? Software development? Networking? Journalism?
- Sign-up for job updates in this field that interests you. There are many job sites out there. I highly recommend: Jobberman, Hotnigerianjob, joblistnigeria, PushCV
- Allocate a certain time in the day to apply for jobs. This could be in the evening or very early in the morning. It could be for two or three hours. Be specific and disciplined about this. Let’s say you allocated 6pm-8pm as your job-hunt time. Once it is 6pm, stop whatever you are doing and start job hunting.
- Let everyone know your job-hunt time is a no-disturbance time. That is why it is advised to select a period when you are less likely to be disturbed.
- Close all distractions (like facebook, twitter, instagram) and focus on your job-hunting during that time.
- Set a target for yourself. It could be that you should apply for at least three jobs everyday.
A lot of people tell me that they do not have a job, hence they can apply at any time. I tell them that its wrong. Why? because no company is interested in someone who is not gainfully engaged or employed. So if you do not have a job yet, volunteer for some activity. Even go to an organisation near your house and volunteer your services. The important thing here is to keep your self busy and build your experience. Money should not be considered first in everything.
When fresh out of school, the most important thing is building your skills and experience so that when there is a job opening in a big company, you will already be equipped with the skills and experience they need. (even 1 year experience is better than none).
Most of the people I know who got good jobs started this way. They volunteered their services in a field they are interested in, built skills and experience and immediately a good job opportunity came along, they applied and got the job.
Also spend each day learning something vital in your field. For instance if you want to be a high-profile programmer you can’t go far if you don’t know languages like Java, Php, .Net framework, SQL etc. And everyday you have to write a program or do some coding or you will become rusty and useless. Also you have to subscribe to news in your industry so that you will be updated regularly on recent changes in software architecture or coding practices.
So working (even if its volunteer work) is just one part of it. Updating your knowledge so that it doesn’t become obsolete is another part of it. That is why you have to manage your time wisely, so that as you are applying for jobs, you are also gaining skills, updating your knowledge and increasing your experience.
Always remember: Job-hunting is a tough battle and only those properly equipped (not those who apply to 1 million jobs) win the battle.