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Productivity: The Secret Sauce for Job Search

Catherine Morgan
Catherine Morgan
Catherine MorganCareer Transition Expert | Business Consultant | TEDx and Event Speaker | Writer at Point A to Point B Transitions Inc.

Techniques and tactics for how to be more productive during job search, including how to find more time and concentrate on the most important things. Expanded and updated version for 2016.

Productivity: The Secret Sauce for Job Search

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Productivity: The Secret Sauce
for Successful Job Search
Catherine Morgan
Career Transition Coach | Business Consultant
Point A to Point B Transitions Inc.
Time is scarce
• Time is your most valuable commodity
• No matter how much time we have,
it never seems like enough
– Family
– Career
– Fitness
– Volunteering
– Hobbies
– Other?
Who gets more done?
• Someone with a lot of spare time?
• Someone with a lot of commitments?
The inner game of productivity
• Need to create good mental space
• Invalidate negative self-talk
Taming the “monkey mind”
• How do you calm the “chatter”
– Exercise – walking, running, swimming
– Meditation
– Yoga
– Other?
Know when your peak times are
• When are you usually at your best?
– Are you a morning person?
– Do you prefer late night for thinking?
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Productivity: The Secret Sauce for Job Search

  • 1. Productivity: The Secret Sauce for Successful Job Search Catherine Morgan Career Transition Coach | Business Consultant Point A to Point B Transitions Inc.
  • 2. Time is scarce • Time is your most valuable commodity • No matter how much time we have, it never seems like enough – Family – Career – Fitness – Volunteering – Hobbies – Other?
  • 3. Who gets more done? • Someone with a lot of spare time? • Someone with a lot of commitments?
  • 4. The inner game of productivity • Need to create good mental space • Invalidate negative self-talk
  • 5. Taming the “monkey mind” • How do you calm the “chatter” – Exercise – walking, running, swimming – Meditation – Yoga – Other?
  • 6. Know when your peak times are • When are you usually at your best? – Are you a morning person? – Do you prefer late night for thinking?
  • 7. How to find more time • Find out where your “leaks” are – Keep track of what you do for a week – Usual time-sucks include: • Watching TV • Internet surfing • Interacting on social media • Playing video games • Writing long e-mails • Meetings • Volunteering
  • 8. Setting boundaries • Know what you are willing to do for work – And are not willing to do • Remember to set boundaries (and stick to them!) with: – Family – Friends – Volunteer commitments – Recruiters
  • 9. Avoiding burnout • Take the time to recover from the previous job’s burnout, if necessary • Plan for the long haul
  • 10. Right time on right things • Online applications • Lunches and coffees with network • Informational interviews • Industry networking • Cold outreach to target companies
  • 11. Syncing progress and expectations • Are you making progress? – Take small steps every day • Are your expectations realistic given the time you have been in transition?
  • 12. What causes overwhelm? “Overwhelm is caused by NOT knowing WHAT to do, not by having too much to do.” ~ Michael Port
  • 13. How to get past overwhelm • Get things out of your head – Trying to remember too many things can cause immediate overwhelm
  • 14. Capture all tasks • Overwhelm will subside when you get into action • Capture everything you need to do in some way (paper, software, phone app)
  • 15. Out of the brain and on to… • Everybody is different – No tech – lists and sticky notes • Sticky note fun: – Write each task on a sticky note – Put all notes on your left – When a task is done, move note to the right side for a visual sense of completion
  • 16. Software can help • WorkFlowy • Evernote • iDoneThis
  • 17. Create logical groups • Once out of your head, tasks can be combined into logical groups or projects – Business projects – Personal chores – Administrative tasks
  • 18. First way to prioritize: Cha-ching! • #1. Do the task that is the most important – Hint: The fast path to the cash
  • 19. Second way to prioritize: Gulp • #2. Do the dreaded task first “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ~ Mark Twain
  • 20. Third way to prioritize: Check • #3. Do the easy things first – Build momentum
  • 21. Fourth way to prioritize: Whoo-hoo! • #4. Gauge your enthusiasm – Which task gets you excited? – Do that first to get a little energy that can carry over to the ones that are not so fun
  • 22. Your friend the calendar • Be hands-on: Use your calendar! – Go through your commitments and other projects – Define specific tasks and block out times – Also schedule in breaks and fun
  • 23. Add in constraints for productivity • Work will expand to the amount of time you give it • Set deadlines – even if they are fake • Bracket your time with other things that can’t move • Keep some kind of a schedule (and keep your sanity)
  • 24. Some bonus tips • Try using a timer with 45- or 50-minute blocks and then take 15- or 10-minute breaks – Or try 25-minute blocks with The Pomodoro Technique http://pomodorotechnique.com/ • Write a list for the next day when you are finished with your work day or at night – You may relax and sleep better – and feel more productive in the morning
  • 25. Keeping track and following up • Most people use these: – Spreadsheet – Calendar program (Outlook, Google Calendar)
  • 26. Notice avoidance behaviors • This happens frequently when what we need to be doing is scary or tedious • Notice when you start doing something (anything!) to avoid the dreaded task – Laundry – Organizing your office – Cleaning – E-mail
  • 27. Need to have or nice to have? • Job seekers can get sidetracked thinking they need to: – Learn some software package – Get a specific certification
  • 28. Ways to mitigate anxiety • Identify it and name it • Attack it with logic • Disarm it with gratitude
  • 29. Banish crazy-busy • Forget crazy-busy – It’s the new normal
  • 30. Questions? Catherine Morgan Career Transition Coach | Business Consultant Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. 877.672.5333 Catherine@PointAtoPointBTransitions.com LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/PointAtoPointB Twitter @PointA_PointB Catherine speaks on: - Productivity - Entrepreneurship - Small Business - Career Transition