It seems almost everything is divided into sectors -- the stock market (industrials, manufacturing, etc.), the financial world (credit unions, banks, etc.), and even our lives (youth, adulthood, old age, etc.).
But we may need to divide our time, each day, into manageable sectors to help get projects done, improve our career or get a job.
Dividing our world into sectors helps us understand broad issues that otherwise would be overwhelming to comprehend.
Unemployment, especially long term, can be discouraging. You may feel as if you are just spinning your wheels and not progressing at all. The key to progress may lie in dividing your time in ways that ensure you are moving forward.
For example, if you set goals of what needs to be accomplished each day, and then set a specific time each day in activities that lead toward accomplishing those goals, you will be far more successful than if you don't.
An underlying principle is, you are far better served by devoting a block of time, such as 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day, to your job search than if you just wing it, so to speak, and merely engage in job search activities as you think of them throughout the day.
Sectoring our time is not a new concept. Applying what have always been called "time management principles" to a job search is sorely lacking for most job seekers. In our desperation to find work, most of us go gangbusters at the beginning and then quickly taper off as we become discouraged, and very often just give up, especially if we are not getting interviews.
Even within each planned time sector, it is better, for example, to work uninterrupted from 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., take a 10-minute break, then get started again from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., etc. than it is to just set 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. aside for your job search.
Some simple rules of sectoring your time include:
1. Set goals for exactly what you want to accomplish during each sector of time.
2. Short of an actual emergency, do not allow yourself to be interrupted.
3. Keep track of your time and record your results.
These three simple rules must be your highest priority during your job search. Here are some examples of effective job search goals:
* Contact 10 people in 50 minutes.
* Follow up on five contacts from the day or week before.
* Speak with at least three employers today that hire my skills.
* Limit time on job boards to no more than 10 percent.
* Adapt your resume and cover letter to fit the specific job you are applying for.
* Prepare a Thank-you letter for a recent job interview.
* Adjust Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter home pages to look and be more professional.
* Ask for at least three information interviews to learn more about targeted companies.
The key to all this is to set specific segments of time each day for your job search. Remember, it is better to spend three focused hours a day on your job search than it is to allow yourself to muddle your way through an eight- or even 10-hour day.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.