The Stupidity of the “40 Hour” Job-Search Week and Why it is a Waste of Time

When I was a kid time was my enemy.  You see, I was one of those kids that today would be labeled ADHD or “really really annoying hyper”.  My mother swore that I ‘could not sit still for five minutes’, but still insisted that I go to church every Sunday.  This was pure torture to me an everyone around me a learning experience.

When you work at a job, you basically get paid by the time you put in.  This is either direct via your hourly wage or implied in a 40ish hour work week.   Unfortunately, when I ask people about their job-search effort, I usually get an answer “I work 8 hours a day”.

But why should you work ‘8 hours a day’?  Simple.  We do this because we frame our job-search as we would our ‘day-job’.   In our ‘day job’ most of us get paid ‘for showing up’.  But the job-search doesn’t pay you for time, it only rewards results.

Therefore, we should frame ‘search effort’ in terms of results and NOT time.  What results can you use?   How about:

Adding X people to your network

Adding Y companies to your ‘target list’

Finding Z ‘solid leads’

Finding A relevant job-listings

But framing this way is hard, because we really have to think about what we are going to do and how we are going to get there.  And most people don’t like to think this way, because instead of simply watching the hours/days/weeks go by, we have to think in terms of being active to reach a goal.

But isn’t this the way we should be looking at the job-search?  The amount of time you spend on your search won’t dictate the results, it is the specific activities that you accomplish.  Finding a job is the direct result of effort and NOT TIME.

How do you measure progress in your job-search?  Are you “doing time”?

2 thoughts on “The Stupidity of the “40 Hour” Job-Search Week and Why it is a Waste of Time

  1. Pingback: Job Search Focus « Kevin’s Korner

  2. You are right on target! Job seekers should set goals to accomplish HIGH-YIELD activities like the ones you suggest. Then stick to it until you’ve met your daily goals. Definitely will take fewer than 8 hours and generate a LOT bigger payback than surfing the boards.

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