Unless you’re fresh out of school, you’ve probably searched for a job at some point in your life. And if you have, you know the job hunt can be a long, dreadful process. It can be difficult to stay optimistic, especially if you are currently unemployed.
To stay productive while searching for your next career path, you need to set realistic goals during your job search. So, what should your job-hunting goals look like? Obviously, your ultimate goal is to find a job. However, you need to establish smaller goals along the way. Here are the three goals you must set to land your dream job.
Establish a S.M.A.R.T. end goal
Before you submit a single application, you need to set an end goal for what you would like to accomplish. Your end goal of finding a job must be more meaningful. After all, this is the goal that will drive your entire search! It must constantly lead you in the right direction to keep your search focused and get you that dream job.
You are probably familiar with S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals. If your goal is not S.M.A.R.T., it will be difficult to maintain motivation throughout the long process of a job search. Developing your S.M.A.R.T. goals will allow you to establish realistic numerical goals or tasks to make the most out of your job hunt.
For example, your goal should be something like: “Within 60 days, I will have accepted a job offer for a marketing specialist position in the Seattle-area with a $55,000 starting salary.”
Create daily numerical goals for yourself
When searching for a new job, you must develop numerical goals for yourself. Start jotting down a to-do list. Write down four or five key things you need to accomplish – every day – and check them off as you complete them.
Create a target number for how many jobs you would like to apply to every day, how many people you want to connect with on LinkedIn, or how many articles you want to read to brush up on industry trends. Making and keeping track of a list of small numerical goals will keep you on the right track and help you feel productive. I promise that setting realistic, numerical goals will put you in the right mindset and lead to a successful job search.
Treat your job search like it’s a job
You need to treat your job hunt like it’s your real job. That’s easier said than done, right? Not if you develop a daily routine!
When you are at work, you have a schedule and must accomplish certain tasks every day. Well, if you treat your job search like that, you will likely be more successful! Take your goals and break them out into daily tasks. Take the list you created and keep track of the things you accomplish. Set time aside each day, ideally the same time schedule, and complete your list before you do anything else.
When you accomplish one of your goals, say apply for five new jobs today, cross them off! Not only is it satisfying to do so, it will help you stay on track and keep plugging away on your job search.
And if you’re still struggling with this, step away from your computer. Go to a local coffee shop or head over to the public library. Removing yourself from home and eliminating distractions will help you create a work-like environment and boost your productivity! You’ll be surprised how a change of scenery will improve your attitude towards your job search.