Fresh out of post secondary and I have found myself at some what of a crossroad in my life. On one hand, I am working two part-time jobs and trying to make the most of my summer while making enough money to pay the bills. On the other hand, I am constantly on the lookout for job opportunities and spare time to write cover letters, resumes, and schedule interviews. So how can you balance all of that while still maintaining your sanity?
Prioritize job hunting
First and foremost, you need to decide where your priorities lay. I am currently trying to direct all my energy and focus on finding a full-time, permanent position to replace my two part-time jobs so that I can finally bring some structure and consistency into my life. To me, this is what I think is important right now. So I sacrifice nights out with friends for earlier bed times to have more productive days throughout the week. Am I sad about it? No.
When you can understand what is important to you and why it’s important, putting it first won’t seem like a chore—but rather a choice and a step closer to accomplishing your goals.
Use your days off wisely
I don’t want you to think that I’m asking you to give up a social life completely just to do what needs to get done. I still hang out with friends and go on trips when I want to. All I’m saying is if you want to be productive while still being able to maintain a life, you’re going to need to really brush up on your time-management skills.
For example, Sundays are my day off and this past Sunday I organized a “self-improvement Sunday” with one of my best girlfriends who shares the same interest and passion in marketing as I do. We started the day off with 2 hours of tanning by the pool. I made use of this down time by reading Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday. We then drove to one of our favourite areas in Downtown Vancouver, Coal Harbour. We spent most of the afternoon working on our portfolios and applying for jobs. At about 8 pm, we went to have dinner in Yaletown.
Not only were we able to enjoy the sunshine, get our tan in, but we also had an extremely productive day. If you’re able to do this for all your days off, you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing play-time for work-time.
Set up daily job opportunity alerts
Another tip that I discovered from this job search article from Pongo is to set up notifications from job hunting websites and apps so that as soon as more postings come up, you’ll be the first to know. I personally love the Indeed app and the LinkedIn Jobs app. I downloaded the apps on my phone so I get notifications and emails every time new postings with my specified key words become available. Both apps also allow you to apply easily with profiles, resumes, and cover letters that you preset into their system.
Job hunting can easily become overwhelming with the endless documents, customized resumes, and websites that you will have to deal with in the process. It is extremely important to stay extremely organized or else you can lose track of important information very quickly. You do not want to become the person that doesn’t know where they applied to when a potential employer contacts you!
I keep my computer files extremely organized by creating folders for every application I send out. This might seem excessive but it is an effective way for me to keep track of everything. A simpler organization method is just to sort your folders by “Currently Applying” and “Applied”. I also keep an excel document with information on every application I sent out. I make sure to include the job title, employer, date applied, response, and debrief. This is mainly for my self-reflection—to see the feedback I receive from companies that don’t accept my application.
Marlen Komar from Bustle suggests to purge and keep unnecessary clutter down to a minimum. I do this digitally by making sure I am deleting and clearing any old job hunt data from my computer that no longer needs to be there. Sure my cover letter for my first teenage part-time job may have some insights on my past experiences, but am I really going to be using that as a reference? NO. Delete that ish.
Are you currently in this mid-mid-life crisis of post-school job hunting as well? Share your tips with me!
Until next time,