How to Job Search After a Long Day of Work

Job searching can be a long and exhausting process. But, when you need to do it all while also staying dedicated to your current nine-to-five? Well, you can quickly transition from just tired to plain ol’ burnt out.

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Balancing your hunt for a new gig with your existing full-time job can require some serious juggling skills—especially if you want to give both of them your best effort. You can’t spend any of your company time job searching. And, by the time you get home from a long day in the office? Understandably, you just want to sit back and relax.

There’s no denying that looking for a new job while you’re currently still employed elsewhere requires some serious commitment. However, it’s definitely not impossible! And, these quick tips are sure to make the whole process even easier.

Choose a Place

You love going home at the end of the day. Why? Well, quite simply, it’s the place you retreat to after a long day of work in order to kick up your feet, pour a glass of wine, and relax in front of the TV. That’s great! In fact, it’s exactly what your home was intended for.

However, that also means it’s likely not a place that will encourage a ton of productivity and motivation when it comes to job searching. So, choose a place outside of your home that will turn into your job hunting headquarters. Whether it’s a coffee shop or the library, it’ll be a place that allows you to look for new opportunities free from all of those pesky distractions at home. Plus, you’re much more likely to have a ridiculously productive job searching session when that particular place is meant for that specific task.

If you have no choice but to go home at the end of the day, choose a select spot in your house for job hunting—ideally not in front of the t.v. In order to submit quality applications, your job search requires your full attention. After all, you’d be shocked at how many mistakes are littered throughout your cover letter when you halfheartedly completed it while simultaneously watching a rerun of The Office.

Set Goals

There’s so much involved with your job search, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed and inundated at times. This is exactly why it’s important to set bite-sized, manageable goals for each job hunting session you sit down to complete.

Whether it’s picking a number for how many jobs you’ll apply for, identifying a certain amount of new opportunities, brushing up your resume, or improving your LinkedIn profile, set a specific, measurable goal for that time period. This milestone will allow you to feel accomplished when your job searching session wraps up. Plus, it’ll be a solid indicator for when you can call it quits that day—once that goal is met, you’re free to step away from the computer.

Set a Time Limit

When you’ve committed yourself to finding a new gig as soon as possible, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of spending all of your free time in front of your computer—until you’re blurry-eyed and completely exhausted.

You want to avoid this, as it typically means the information you’re submitting will also dip in quality. So, hold yourself to a rule by setting a time limit for how long that evening you’ll spend job searching.

Whether it’s a half hour or three hours, that end in sight will inspire you to keep trucking along. Even better? You’re guaranteed to be more productive, as that ticking timer in the back of your mind will instill a sense of urgency—giving your motivation the boost it needs after a long day in the office!

Implement a Reward System

Nothing can inspire you to push through and keep moving forward quite like a reward. It’s that light at the end of the tunnel that motivates you to keep going in order to reach the finish line.

So, what should your reward be for job hunting—especially when you can’t guarantee yourself a new position at the end of those few hours? Well, I recommend job searching before allowing yourself to do anything else that evening. That means that the parts of your night that you actually enjoy, such as making a delicious dinner, reading, or watching your favorite show, will all function as rewards for a successful period of job hunting—motivating you to keep working!

Don’t Neglect Downtime

I know you’re eager to land a new job. But, you still shouldn’t throw all of your extra hours into your job search. It’s important to remember that you also just worked a full day—and, you’re entitled to some rest, relaxation, and time to recharge your batteries for the next day.

This is another reason why implementing that time limit is so important. It ensures that you don’t sacrifice absolutely all of your downtime for your job search. After all, those precious hours for relaxation are crucial for your sanity and avoiding burnout.

Job searching can feel like a full-time job on its own. So, when you’re trying to do it in addition to your normal employment? Well, suddenly your schedule can seem unbearably full. However, juggling your job hunt with your existing career is definitely doable—it just takes some commitment and planning. Use these tips, and you’re well on your way to managing both!

Written by

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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