Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Maintain Focus As a Post Grad

In college, you probably learned the fine art of multi-tasking. You studied for exams while watching "The Office" while chatting with your roommate while texting your friends. With all the distractions these days with multiple forms of social media, email and television it can be hard to stay focused on one thing, especially something as daunting as job hunting. It can be very easy to want to take the day off, so to say, as you spend your days trying to grab a career. Here are some tips on staying focused and managing your time well as you search for jobs:

1. Turn off all forms of electronic devices. Shut off your cell phone, iPod, iPad, whatever. You'll probably be using your computer to look for jobs and it will be extremely tempting to take a little Facebook break. Use Internet tools such as Leechblock for Firefox that allow you to temporarily block certain websites so you aren't tempted to waste time. If you are using your phone to call businesses, try to use a landline if you can to avoid temptation to text.

2. Use good time management. Don't say that you are going to spend 10 straight hours job hunting because you'll never actually do it or you'll quickly get burned out. Block out a few hours per day to job hunt and use the time to search for jobs using the Internet and newspapers, call businesses and visit them in person. Take breaks for food and relaxing so you don't stress yourself out.

3. Make sure you have a clear plan. If you don't really know what you're looking for or how to go about a job search, you'll quickly lose focus. Make a list of potential jobs or careers in relation to your degree that you have interest in. Make a list of people you can network with and ask for help with your job search. Keep track of the places you go to job search, the companies you apply with, the people you talk to, etc. Keeping track of all of this information ensures that you can follow up with jobs you apply for and that you don't apply twice.

4. Set weekly goals for yourself. The main goal is obviously to find a job that you love but you can set yourself mini-goals such as updating your resume and cover letters, finding new ways to job search such as joining a professional group or applying to a certain number of jobs.

If you stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize, there's no telling where you can go! Good luck, post grads!

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