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6 Tips on How to Focus Your Job-Search Time Wisely!
What Is Your Career "Personality" Projecting?


Many out-of-work Americans are realizing the struggles of a job market with record low job openings relative to the number of unemployed. As the New York Times recently reported, what this means is that, even as job layoffs slow, increasing numbers of Americans are joining a “growing underclass” -- made up of those facing long-term unemployment.

In June 2010, nearly 7 million people, or 45.5 percent of those unemployed are “long-term unemployed,” meaning they’ve been without work for 27 weeks or more.

With competition steep in most every market segment, it’s now more crucial than ever to hone your job-searching skills and spend your job-search time wisely. And now, as the summer wraps up and we enter the fall and holiday seasons, it’s important to get your job hunt organized and in motion now, so you can find work before the holiday roll around and hiring tapers off until 2011.

job hunt

Tip #1: Get the Right Attitude

You’ve got to believe in yourself if you’re going to succeed, a notion that can become increasingly difficult the longer you’re out of work. Unemployment can lead to depression, hopelessness, a loss of identity self-confidence and a condition known as “learned helplessness.”

Occupational psychologist Paul Englert, PhD told Monitor on Psychology, “People can lose their jobs in a recession, fail to find work quickly and then their inability to find work can lead to constant feelings of worthlessness. Even after the recession turns around and more jobs open up, these would-be workers lack the confidence or motivation to look for jobs.”

Instead of getting discouraged, make a list of your top “selling points” and keep them fresh in your mind. Revamp your resume to include your top accomplishments in your prior positions, and spend time every day saying positive affirmations about your job skills, self-worth and ability to find a job you will love.

finding a job

Tip #2: Organize

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people who use multiple job search methods find work faster than those who use only one or two. But in order to effectively launch a multi-faceted job search, you’ve got to get organized first. A good start is to compile the different avenues you can take to find employment options:

  • Personal contacts/networking: Talk to your friends, neighbors, former coworkers and acquaintances, letting them know you’re job hunting. You can also join community and professional organizations to make new contacts.

  • Career planning and placement offices. Colleges and universities offer career placement services that help students and alumni find jobs. You can also check into a “headhunter” or employment agency that may have new leads for you (find out any costs associated with this option first).

  • Employers: Research the top employers in your field and contact them directly about job openings. Even if there are no openings at the moment, contact the human resources department, submit your resume and let them know your interest in working for the company if a job opportunity opens up.

  • The Internet/classified ads: You can search for jobs by field, location, and more online or in your local newspaper An internet job search can give you access to thousands of jobs with just a few clicks.

  • Entrepreneurship: Millions of Americans are controlling their own destinies by going into business for themselves. Not only has it been said that the health of the economy depends on the success of entrepreneurs, but starting your own business can make you wealthier, and happier, than you’ve ever been before. If you have an idea for starting your own business, here are 10 tips every entrepreneur needs to succeed.

Once you’ve considered your options, it’s time to prioritize (see below). You’ve only got so much time in a day, so number your job search prospects from most to least appealing and devote time appropriately to securing an interview.

job interview

Tip #3: Prioritize Wisely

Most job seekers spend over 50 percent of their job-search time searching for and applying for new positions, according to a poll, with nearly 30 percent of that time spent searching for positions online and 30 percent spent applying to positions. While this can be effective, it often leads you to feel like you’re making progress when you still aren’t reaching your goal.

A better breakdown of your time should be to focus on activities that will get you in the door with employers you’re interest in, or working with a recruiter who can help place you in the job you want. As recently reported, the following prioritization may help you reach your goals faster:

  • Networking: 30% of your job-search time

  • Researching companies: 25%

  • Working with a recruiter: 20%

  • Applying to positions: 15%

  • Searching for positions online: 10% states:

“For advanced professionals, the focus of your job search should be on developing a strategy specific to you: identifying what your ideal next position is, and in what type of organization, and then networking with people who can help you achieve that goal. You should not be spending the majority of your time on the highly manual process of seeking out new positions.

In fact, most job boards and career-management sites can provide you with excellent automated listings, particularly if you've done a good job of identifying your skills, experience, and interests to attract the employers who would best be a fit for you.”

Tip #4: Let Stress Work For You

It’s been said that there is nothing more stressful than not having a job, and the act of searching for a job can be as or more stressful than a high-stress full-time job. That said, you can harness some of this stress to your advantage making it productive “Good Stress” vs. Bad Stress.

To a point, stress is actually good for you. It provides a burst of energy, a boost to your immune system and allows you to accomplish more -- critical when on the hunt for a job. When you feel an urgent need to find a job, this good stress increases your productivity, but, like a wave reaching its crest, once you pass your “peak,” stress will cause you to crash.

Stress comes in Waves.

Everyone has stress. The key is to change the game and playing field by learning how to identify and harness stress as an asset versus adversity. Seek to identify it as it builds, and utilize its power as it begins to crest and peak to allow yourself to catch the wave and ride the power of it to accelerate your performance vs. being caught up in the undertow. It can often be simply a matter of good stress utilization vs. victimization of the wave crashing down on top of you. Position yourself to catch the wave.

The key to harnessing stress for your own benefit and success lies in knowing when you’re nearing that tipping point of good to bad. This is often difficult, as once you reach the distress side, it can be hard to come back. This is where stress management techniques can be a lifesaver, but before you even get to that point, you can keep your stress on the “good” side by changing your perceptions.

For instance, if you feel you have no control in your job search, it will lead to damaging chronic stress. But you can change this belief by taking ownership of your job hunt, outlining action steps to help you find the job you want, and then executing those steps purposefully.

Remember, if you never feel stressed, you probably also never feel challenged, excited, productive and energized either. But if you feel chronically stressed, to the point where you are nearing burnout or “crashing,” you need guidance that can help like “Staying Healthy in a Stressful World”, the highly praised CD by Dr. Peter Reznik, one of the most respected mind/body integrative therapists of our time. The program will actually help you to embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences -- which is an essential skill for every job seeker.

If you’re not sure where you fall on the stress spectrum, you can find out the stress level of your household by taking this quick quiz now.

Tip #5: Remember the Law of Attraction

if your mental state is optimistic, you will naturally attract more of the same into your life, according to the Law of Attraction. This posits that if you focus on positive things you'll attract good into your life. But the opposite also holds true: if you worry constantly and think negatively, you may attract more of that into your life.

This is why it’s so important to get your mind in the right place during your job search and also before a big interview. To help boost your self-esteem and optimism, you’ve got to feel good in both body and mind, which is why a healthy diet, high-quality sleep and regular exercise should also be part of your daily schedule.

You may also benefit immensely from Shea Vaughn’s life-changing fitness program found at The program combines the best-of-the-best moves from Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Martial Arts, GYROKINESIS®, Dance and MORE -- guiding you through unique sequences of movements that strengthen, sculpt, build core and increase flexibility. But even more, Shea believes the key to finding well-being is to embrace the SheaNetics Five Living Principles in your own life.

Each principle -- commitment, perseverance, self-control, integrity and love -- is designed to bring a unique benefit and level of meaning into your life, and the program will teach you how to incorporate each into your daily living.

Shea’s SheaNetics program is not only about physical strength; it’s a mind-body workout she describes as “meditation in motion and thought.” It will help you to make better choices, improve your confidence levels and ultimately achieve your goals in all areas of life.

Tip #6: Go After the Job YOU Want

Many job seekers make the mistake of thinking they have to accept the any job that comes along. Instead, seek out the employers that you’re interested in and research each organization thoroughly. Actively pursue any job openings and be sure your resume positions you as the best candidate for that particular job opportunity.

While it may take you slightly longer to find a job when you tailor your search to the companies that best fit your qualifications, ultimately it will help you to find a career you truly love and have an opportunity to grow in.
Not sure which career is quite right for you? This “Free Career Test” will help you determine your career personality for job-seeking success.

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

“One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important, and that to take a holiday [or extended sabbatical to focus and reenergize] would bring all kinds of disaster.”

--Bertrand Russell

Recommended Reading

Which Jobs Have the Highest Employment Rates?

The 10 Toughest Interview Questions of All Time -- and How to Answer Them

Sources July 14, 2010

Monitor on Psychology March 2010, Vol 41, No. 3, p. 18 January 14, 2010

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bureau of Labor Statistics July 2, 2010

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