Why do some Jobseekers struggle less with their Jobsearch? Here are 4 Habits of Jobseekers that stand out.
You know the feeling when you meticulously plan an event but chances are that a few people will be late.
I always have the same ‘why is that’ philosophical discussion with my partner when that happens. We are both pretty laid back but we both seem to know ahead of time who the latecomers will be. Many people I know are, or tend to be, chronically late -but I don’t believe that it’s because they don’t value others’ time.
It’s more complicated than that. I deal with a large number of people every month, and I have learned that lateness is more often related to personality characteristics such as anxiety, procrastination or a penchant for thrill-seeking. It would be boring if we were all structured the same way but it is clear to me that some people are drawn to the adrenaline rush of that last-minute sprint to the finish line, while others receive an ego boost from over-scheduling and filling each moment with activity.
The majority of people have a combination of late and punctual or prepared and un-prepared habits (e.g. usually on time, but with a frantic rush at the last minute). But, I can always spot the job seeker who will get through their job search period with less anxiety and stress because they most often display one or all of the following habits.
Habit # 1
They’re REALISTIC Thinkers & PLANNERS
Realistic people have plans and know how long things take. Chronically late people, however, engage in what I would call “magical thinking”.
If once, 5 years ago, a job application required 45 minutes of preparation, they believe that’s how long it will take. They forget about the 99% of the times where it took 60 – 90 minutes. This underestimation of how long things take is a definite pattern in the lives of the chronically late.
To develop realistic habits, I suggest that you start relearning to tell time. Write down how long you think it takes to get ready in the morning, start your job search work and review job ads. Then for a week, track how long those things really take. Check the results and adjust your timings. Chronically late people are often off of their time estimates by 25% to 30%.
Habit # 2
They Plan everything Including BUFFER TIME
Punctual people are usually early. Being late stresses them out and they don’t like feeling rushed. Chronically late people get stressed out from being late as well, but they don’t strive to be early; they tend to try to time things to the minute.
For a 5pm submission deadline or a meeting, for example, a punctual person would plan buffers of 30 – 45 minutes, allowing enough time for an unexpected delay, such as traffic or a full parking garage. Organised people tend to be punctual. They do things like reviewing directions online, checking traffic reports before leaving, and some will even drive to a new location the day before to understand the route. They plan with a buffer, they prepare for the unexpected and they know that in order to be punctual, they need to plan to arrive early.
Habit # 3
They’re OK with DOWNTIME
Being organised translates to being punctual and often, even arriving early. Organised job seekers use the extra five or 10 minutes as downtime – a chance to re-read emails, read over notes, or simply enjoy the solitude to settle down.
Organised job seekers also tend to use downtime to strategise about job search alternatives, to network or educate themselves.
Chronically late or unorganised people, however, hate downtime (and often don’t have any of it). They enjoy the thrill of that last-minute sprint to the finish line and crave stimulation. To be more comfortable with downtime, bring along something to fill those spare moments and I am not just talking about your iPhone. J
Knowing that you have something to occupy your time will help to throttle down the engines and gather your thoughts before you enter a job interview or networking session.
Habit # 4
Did I mention THEY’RE ORGANISED?
Almost half of everything we do on a daily basis is automatic. Your life is filled with habits – from the way you brush your teeth to how you get dressed and leave for work, and good or bad, I know that that they’re necessary. If we didn’t do things automatically, it would take us forever to get through our day.
The habits of people who are organised are highly structured. They analyse their daily activities, set routines, and stick to them on regular basis. Chronically unorganised people, however, don’t have structure and often fall into the ‘attention deficit disorder’ spectrum. Instead of thinking about why their routines don’t work and trying something different next time, chronically unorganised people simply hope that tomorrow will be better.
To become organised, I suggests putting more routines and structure into your life. For example, do everything you can to prepare for the morning the night before.
If you think that all this is common sense, than you are more likely one of those job seekers with good habits. If you can see room for improvement with some of my suggestions, get started sooner rather than later but remember when you are out there job searching to hunt wisely!