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Make the most of your time.
Time is the most important asset you have, so use it wisely. It is important to make a schedule of job search activities and when you will complete them. Schedule appointments with yourself and put them on your calendar. When the time comes, shut the door, turn off the phone and work on a specific project -- write letters, make phone calls, work on your resume.. Usually a task takes more time than you anticipate, so plan accordingly. Give yourself one and a half times the amount of time you think you'll need.

Get started.
The hardest thing to do is get started. It's easy to procrastinate, spending time thinking about all there is to do without ever doing any of it. Once you get started, the momentum of activity should help keep you going. Remember, a big project is really a series of smaller projects. Think of accomplishing the small tasks and before long the job search will be over and you will have a new position.

Stay focused.

This will require discipline. Break each long-term goal into daily objectives. Ask, "What do I have to do today? This morning? This afternoon?" Put your plan in writing and include deadlines. Review your progress each day and once a week look at your original goals and list what you have accomplished during the past week. Be proud of what you have achieved in a short time. Focus on your successes. During your search other things will demand your time. Do not allow yourself to stray too far off track or alter your activities too much. Always keep your final goal -- getting a new job -- in mind.

Work when you have the most energy.

For many of us, the mornings are our best times to work. For others, evenings seem to bring an extra burst of energy. Use these "energy times" to do your most difficult projects. (If you're a night person it's difficult to make phone calls to businesses, but it is possible to plan and schedule, write letters and practice interviewing.) Each evening, organize your work space and plan your schedule for the following day. The next day you can begin immediately, not "get organized," and be mentally ready for the new activities. Be sure to tackle the big tasks first and not waste your good energy on several small tasks that then leave you without enough "steam" to approach the larger projects.

Write it all down.

Don't keep all your thoughts in your head. Create lists of what you must do -- a master list of all activities and smaller lists of what you must do or follow up on every day. Make the lists first, then go back and prioritize, focusing on the hard tasks first.

Take a break.

Don't forget to schedule some personal time as well. Job search can be stressful and you need to plan time to participate in activities that will keep you fit, both mentally and physically.

For more information, send e-mail to [email protected]

Cannon Career Development, Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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