Job Search Tip: Timebox Everything

In Manage Your Job Search, I suggest the job hunter timebox everything. But what does that look like? Here are some examples.

Imagine you want to research companies to put on your target list. I say you need 25 companies on your target list in the networking chapter. You roll your eyes and you are overwhelmed. You think to yourself, “How do I even start?”

Timeboxing this activity is a great way to start to manage your overwhelm.

You start this at 10am. You decide to spend 30 minutes on this task. That's your first timebox. You set your alarm clock (on your phone, on your computer, somewhere) for 30 minutes.

30minutealarmclockYou start to research companies. You get involved. You take notes. All of a sudden, rinngg! Your alarm clock goes off!

Your 30-minute timebox is up. By definition, this task is over.

You are done, for now. You breathe a sigh of relief.

Let's review what this timebox looks like:

MYJS.timebox.pictureYou started at 10am, you finished at 10:30am.

You decided which ToDo to select, your task. Here, it was researching target companies.

You decided how long your timebox would be. Here, it was 30 minutes. In Manage Your Job Search, I'm a big fan of work that takes you under two hours to complete. I recommend you timebox your work to less than two hours. If you don't know how to start something, start with a timebox of 10 minutes, so you start and don't make yourself nutso.

See what a timebox looks like? You complete the work in a defined period of time. You define that period of time. You have now completed that work. You move your sticky to done. You breathe a sigh of relief. (Okay, the sigh of relief is optional.)

You can progress through your job search every single day, using timeboxes like this. Even when you don't quite know what to do. Why? Because you start small, make a little progress, and move your sticky across the board.

When you don't know how to start, you start small. You build on your successes. Timeboxes help. This is why you are your own project manager.

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