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How to Stay Focused During Your Job Search: 5 Ways to Keep Your Eye on the Prize

From resume writing to company research, there are a variety of job searching tasks to procrastinate on. Staying focused, organized and on point, in the early stages, will allow you to be more successful once you’ve landed a job. Here are 5 ways to keep you focused during your job search:

5. Turn off all social media.

Not only can social media be terrible for morale (something you’ll need a lot of in your job hunt) but it’s also a major distraction. With notifications popping up every second, the temptation to check the latest tweet or status update is great. Your time spent job hunting should be for just that. If you don’t trust yourself to stay away, several apps have been created to block online distractions and help you get work done.

4. Stop checking your email.

Checking your email is a similar distraction to social media, but it’s easier to justify an email check. Still, your work emails can wait twenty minutes to be opened while you job search. For Mac users, there are several apps that allow you to quiet the noise and focus on what matters to you most, finding a job.

3. Set a timer and goals.

Before you begin job searching, it’s important to have a plan of attack. Write down 1 small goal each day and what you hope to accomplish at the end of the week, end of the month. When you break your goals into tiny manageable actions, you’ll be inspired to keep persevering.

Before beginning a task, set a timer and don’t stop job searching until that timer goes off. Be reasonable and start off in small increments of 10-20 minutes a day for online jobs and 1-2 networking events a week.

2. Create a tracking document.

Once you begin job searching, you’ll find there’s a lot to keep track of. To help you remember where you applied, what date you applied, the company point of contact, etc. create a spreadsheet with all your info. Referencing this spreadsheet will allow you to avoid making small mistakes, like sending multiple applications to the same company.

1. Reward yourself.

Set a reward for yourself at the beginning of your job search. If you’ve accomplished your daily, weekly, or monthly goals, give yourself a well-earned treat. This will help you stay motivated through the emotional roller coaster that is job hunting.

Staying focused during a job hunt can be incredibly difficult. But if you make goals, stick to them, and quiet all the other noise, you’ll eventually see results.

What’s your best trick for staying on task during your job hunt? Let us know in the comments below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by moonlightbulb

Ali Kelley

Ali is a freelance writer who blogs about nonprofits, tech and social media for Chicago startups, Zealous Good, Dabble, and Eventbrite. Since graduating college in 2009, she has learned a ton about job searching in a recession, and is excited to share her experiences. In addition to writing, Ali enjoys the finer things in life like pajamas that double as jeans.

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