Facing Unemployment: Managing a Full-Time Job Search With a Full-Time Career

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Search for the perfect job, write application materials, attach resume, network, and repeat.

The job search process is long and tedious. To do it well, one application can take hours from start to finish — and that’s after you’ve found the perfect listing. It truly is a full-time job all by itself.

When you mix in an actual full-time job and impending unemployment, the stress is overwhelming. Unfortunately, even though you’re in a hurry to secure a new position, the hiring process is dragging for many companies.

In fact, according to a 2017 Glassdoor survey, the average hiring time is higher than ever at 23.8 days. That number is up almost a full day more compared with 2014’s average of 22.9 days — and depending on the industry, that number only gets longer.  

Even if your employer offers a fair amount of termination notice, most job seekers struggle to find a new job before their final days of employment. To have an effective and efficient job search, employees being terminated or laid off must face the job search with a strategic plan.

Here are three tips that will put you on the fast-track to finding a new career — even when you have a full-time job:

1. Make a schedule and stick to it

A full-time job and termination aren’t the only concerns taking up valuable time and brain space. You have a life outside of work that also needs attention. Keep yourself sane by sticking to a strict but reasonable schedule.

Block your time out into small chunks throughout the day. Make a list of priorities that must be done before each day comes to an end. These non-negotiables should be set for yourself, family/friends, work, the job search, and other outside activities, such as volunteer work.

Set your daily to-dos based off of this list. It’s likely you’ll discover things previously on your to-do list that you have to say no to — and that’s not just OK, it’s necessary.

Set aside time specifically for your job search. During this time, add application links, people you need to network with, and lists of what needs to be added to application materials.

Don’t be afraid to alter your schedule as you find what works, how priorities change, and when you’re most productive.

2. Let your network do the talking

Finding and becoming well-known in new networks is extremely time-consuming. Researching companies, who you need to network with, and nurturing those leads will take a good chunk out of your day.

However, it’s important to remember you likely already have numerous strong networks. It’s just a matter of keeping them informed and effectively using them.

The more people mentioning your name and qualifications, the more likely you are to quickly find and land a new job. In fact, according to Jobvite’s 9th Annual Recruiter Nation Report, 78 percent of recruiters rank referrals as the best source for quality hires.

While being laid off or terminated isn’t something you’re proud of, friends, family, co-workers, employers, community contacts, and even former teachers are ready and willing to help you find a new career. Let these contacts know you’re looking by sending them a link to your resume, which allows them to easily share and forward to their connections.

3. Limit your tools

Resources for job seekers have exploded in the last 10 years. The flooded job search tool market is both helpful and detrimental for job seekers facing termination.

Today’s tools are meant to make the process easier by taking timely searching and matching out of your hands. However, when you have a full-time job, there isn’t much time to check various notifications and emails throughout the day.

Before your phone and inbox are completely overtaken with notifications, take the time to find two to three beneficial tools. Research what they do for you, reviews, and cost before downloading and filling out forms. Taking the time for these initial steps will enable these few tools to be deliberate about your job search, making them more successful.

How do you manage the stress of impending unemployment, a full-time career, and a job search? Let us know!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.