I could probably pick up a quick $1K if someone paid me $10—or even $5—every time a client passively nodded in agreement when I suggested that they apply the same time and commitment to their job search / career management as their full-time (or even part-time) job. I hear them mutter a weak response in agreement, but know when I begin to tell them what that means, their agreement will evaporate. As the commitment evaporates so does their self respect and their confidence.
As this great article by Susie Moore explains, "it's far too easy to waste our time, money, and energy by not committing wholeheartedly to something important to us."
The 100-Percent Rule
Despite job boards that deliver opportunities to your inbox, guess what? Clicking on those opportunities, uploading your resume, and going back to Facebook, or whatever your personal online time-waster is, is essentially a waste of time. Sure, something might happen, but it's basically throwing your time, your resume, and your hopes for that opportunity into a black hole.
This is the "well-meaning '99-percent effort'" that Susie Moore correctly points out as exhausting. She writes:
"It consumes energy without producing results. It’s stressful. It makes us feel like a failure when we’re not—we just haven’t fully committed to something. Putting 99-percent effort into things that matter in life means we are constantly falling short of our potential—and feeling bad about it."
If you're going to continue your "point-and-click" job search methodology, you also need to augment it with something else.
I'll make this short and as in-your-face realistic as I can. A successful job search is still about networking. Yep, networking. Not necessarily those after-work functions or networking clubs—but they work, too. It's much easier than that! And if you're reading this article, you already have one of the top networking tools at your command: LinkedIn.
It's at your command, but you're NOT COMMANDING it! Stop using LinkedIn as a time-waster and start using it to help you achieve your goals. Join groups, participate in discussions, and share articles in the industry or market area you are targeting for your next role. Look for 2nd-degree connections that work in your target area and get introduced. Offer them something, too. Follow what they post and make a real connection.
Networking IS sharing. It's not asking.
When you start thinking about what someone would be interested in and sharing what you know about the subject, you are flexing the same muscle you need to use when demonstrating your value to your next employer. What does that company, the department, that director needs? How can you help? It's the same thing.
So stop wasting time and 1-2-3 GO!
I was intrigued from the first moment I read the bold claim accredited to Socrates that "the unexamined life is not worth living" and it has been a touchstone throughout my life. And, through the power of hindsight, I see its influence powering many of my career choices and life activities.