We’re going to cover a lot in this track. From building your online presence to networking effectively to writing a compelling resume. Everything you read will set you on the path to landing a job offer.
But reading alone isn’t enough and it’s important that you start your job outreach from day one. Don’t wait until the end of this track to get started. In this lesson we’re going to create an action plan for you that will tie together all the useful advice in the upcoming units.
It can feel a bit overwhelming to transition from your Flatiron program into job search mode. Whether you were an immersive or online student, you likely had a very robust, intensive, structured schedule that guided your every action, day after day, until your program completion. So what can you do after you’ve graduated to ensure the same amount of structure, momentum and progress, but in your job search? You create a whole new plan for smart time management!
Consider for a moment how you successfully managed your life to complete your Flatiron program. How did you organize yourself? What support mechanisms did you put into place? What strategies did you use to prioritize your time effectively? Take advantage of the smart habits and methods you used in your program and begin applying them directly into your job search action plan.
Since a successful job search requires commitment and consistent action and you are the person responsible for leading and steering your job search, how you effectively manage your time will directly impact your success in getting a job, and the amount of time it takes to get a job.
Set priorities. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), where does your job search fall as a priority in your life right now? How important to you is finding a job sooner vs. later? Your answer should determine how you prioritize your job search activities in your daily life. We all have many things we are balancing in our lives day by day, and sometimes it is not as ‘easy’ or carefree’ as we’d like — but the effort is well worth it, when you consider why you are pursuing what you’re pursuing, and why you’ve just spent the past several months (or even longer) of blood, sweat and tears in completing your program.
Make a defined schedule. Going to the gym might not be something you’re excited about, but if you plan the time in advance, block it out on your calendar, and gather your gym accessories together ahead of time, etc., getting yourself there will likely be much easier. In the same way, making a job search plan will make you more motivated to get started and stick to your plan. Just like forming a habit of going to the gym can be easier.
In other words, don’t just keep it in your head. Block out specific chunks of time, in your calendar, in Trello, or in whatever personal time management tool that you use. Blocking out the time somewhere where you can see it makes it more ‘real,’ and more likely that you will remember, and prioritize, that activity.
Perhaps you want to set aside X hours each morning for practicing your skills or working on a project, X hours every afternoon for company research and outreaches, X hours for follow-ups and cover letter drafts, and X day a week for writing a blog post. Only you truly know how you best manage your productivity, so leverage that into your job search. If you are working with a Career Coach and would like guidance, ask them — they can help you formulate a smart time management plan.
In a future lesson we will go into more detail on what you should be doing post-graduation to stay active, keep your skills sharp, and ensure your market competitiveness.
Sometimes in life things don’t go as planned, unexpected things come up, etc. If you notice a pattern surfacing of not being able to meet your job search activity goals each week that you’ve set for yourself, that’s a perfect opportunity to chat with your coach. They can help you to identify what’s getting in the way, and ways to re-calibrate your action plan. That’s one reason why we set you up with a job search tracker, so you can monitor/track your activities to help you stay on track, build momentum, and get the results you want. Your Career Coach will provide you with your own individualized tracker to use.
In summary, smart time management is key to staying on track and reaching your job search goals. Through setting priorities, scheduling out your activities, and tracking your progress on an ongoing basis you will be significantly more equipped to ensure your actions are moving you forward in the right direction.