Here’s a fun fact: every year in November people celebrate Chaos Never Dies Day.
No one really knows when or by who this day was started, but it exists to remind us that, no matter how hard we try, some chaos will always be there and we should embrace it.
If you’ve spent more than five minutes as a job seeker, you know that the job hunt is especially chaotic. With so many tasks, no schedule, and a million potential directions, it’s easy to get buried, quickly.
While it’s true that (job search) chaos never dies, there are ways you can organize around it to make the job search easier, more enjoyable, and more manageable:
Segment Your Schedule
In school, you had a pretty rigid schedule. Math was first period, P.E. was second…. and so forth. Even though you might not have liked it, you came to expect certain things at certain times and became more efficient at them.
Just like in school, your job search can benefit from being segmented. Instead of doing some work here and some work there, try assigning yourself tasks throughout the day. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., you can power through your inbox. For the next hour, you can monitor any responses you got on your various social media platforms, and the next hour can be dedicated to job lead hunting.
When you focus on one thing, you’ll find that you’ll get it done quicker and transition better to other tasks when that “period” is up.
There’s no better way to keep something on your mind than to make it visible. For your workstation, invest in a white board, bulletin board, or whatever else to present the different elements of your job search. Pin up your schedule, post a list of your goals, or anything else you want readily available.
Find an App for That
40% of all U.S. mobile phone users have a smartphone at your disposal. Sure, it is great for wasting time and monitoring your Facebook feed, but it’s also a great tool for your job search. Organization apps like Remember the Milk, Easy Task Manager, and A Personal Assistant are all worth the pennies they cost.
Filter Your Email
One easily forgettable tool in your job search organization arsenal is email filters. If you use one of the main email providers, you can use filters to instantly archive, spam, or prioritize email messages that are the most important. It will take some time to set them up, but not having to dig through a few thousand useless email notifications to find an important message is worth it.
What do you think? What other organization tips should job seekers know to combat job search chaos? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. She is also the founder & president of Come Recommended, the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.