We’ve all heard people say, “Looking for a job is a job in itself” — a statement that rings true for many who are in the middle of a job search. Looking for work encompasses a lot of the same skills required in an actual job — organization, time management, adaptability and skill-building — so you’ll want to have a similar approach. For survivors looking for work during or after treatment, they might also have to consider how the physical and emotional effects of cancer might impact their job hunt.
While the process can seem never-ending at times, there are certain strategies that can be adopted to make it less stressful and less time-consuming. A recent article from Idealist highlights three ways to streamline and simplify your search:
Create a reasonable (and realistic) schedule. It’s important to map out a daily plan that ensures you are carving out time to delve into your search. Our days can be filled with activities (both expected and unexpected), so having an entire day whiz by without dedicating time to job-hunting can happen easily. Outlining specific times that you’ll spend on it can help you manage your time and stay on track. For example, you might want to take an hour after breakfast every morning (e.g., 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM) to research companies and download their job applications; then spend another hour in the evening completing and submitting them.
Determine the most useful technology to use. There are a ton of tools and apps that can assist with organization and productivity. Before you start sifting through the plethora of options, take time to figure out what kind of support you need most (reminders, file organization, time tracking, etc.). This will help to identify the ones that will actually make things easier for you (instead of adding more distractions).
Flexibility with your timeline is key. The reality is that it’s almost impossible to know when a job search will come to a successful completion. It can take weeks, months and sometimes more than a year to land a job. Having a time frame in mind for when you’ll be transitioning into a new role should serve as motivation, but don’t view it as a hard-and-fast deadline. Finding ways to streamline your efforts by implementing an actionable plan will not only help you to stay productive, it is also the key to a more productive and successful job search!
Also, make sure to check out the Looking for Work section on our website, as well as the additional resources below:
- Cancer and Careers’ Job Search Toolkit (2nd Edition)
- Ask a Career Coach Message Board