Job Hunt Organization: Part 1

Welcome to January, everybody!  While I personally had a great time celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year, it’s amazing how fast we turn the corner this time each year, isn’t it, and how suddenly all of that “holiday stuff” suddenly becomes a distant memory?  Chalk it up to the predictable rhythm of the season.  Once the decorations get taken down, the trees get put out on the curb, and the orgy of shopping subsides, it’s “back to business” time, both for employers and employment-seekers alike.

On that note, I’m going to start out my blogging for 2010 by focusing on some of the organizational aspects of job hunting, since I feel this is an important, multi-dimensional topic that’s quite appropriate to discuss whenever one starts out a new year — or in this case, an entirely new decade.  Feel free to disagree, if you’d like, but speaking from my own experience setting goals and getting things accomplished, I’ve found that organizational systems and structure are a key ingredient in achieving success.  Time and time again, when I need to bear down and get something done, especially something I don’t necessarily want to do all that much and that I know will take lots of patience and persistence, I start by thinking through the structure/framework/tools that will best help me lay out my plan and guide my efforts, going forward.  What system will I use?  How will I organize my activities?  What data will I track and what process will ensure I keep moving forward and making incremental progress?

I find there’s a strong motivational component inherent to this approach, as well.  Again, perhaps it’s just me, or a sensation limited to those of us who have a more analytical or methodical orientation to the world, but I usually find myself getting really excited when I’m embarking on a new personal challenge and have taken the time to design a new structure or process for pursuing it.  It doesn’t matter whether its simply reorganizing my filing system or coming up with a daily log for recording my exercise or eating habits.  There’s something invigorating about creating a new “success framework” and staying faithful to it, at least for the first few weeks.  So if you haven’t had a good system in place for tracking your job hunt activities, up until now, or you feel the time might be right to shake things up a little, consider investing the next few days thinking through the specific types of information you need to track — and what the most reliable/convenient/effective way will be for you to track it.

On that note, and before we get too far along on the subject, let’s take a quick poll on how everybody out there (to whom this situation applies) feels they are currently tracking their job search efforts…

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