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How much time you spend on your job search depends on… you

➔ There are those who say that a job search is a full-time job. That’s usually said by people who aren’t looking for work. So how much time should you spend? U.S. News opines that “your job search (time) varies dramatically from field to field and person to person.” That really doesn’t help much.

How much is too much?

The more practical say that spending that much time on your job search can quickly result in burn out – which most likely will not get you a job and will make you feel anxious and maybe even depressed for not accomplishing much. U.S. News does add that especially “if you’re more senior, your search… probably doesn’t need to be anything approaching 40 hours a week.”

On that there does seem to be some consensus. According to Forbes, that number is “at least 30 hours a week.” Then there is which states that “a reasonable schedule would be 25 hours per week for those who are not working.”

At the other far end on the spectrum is a survey from CareerBuilder which reports “that, on average, job seekers spend 11 hours a week searching for jobs.” They go on to say that “if you can put in more time than that, you'll be ahead of the competition.” And who doesn’t want to be ahead of the competition?

Several experts recommend creating a “work schedule” for your job search where a certain amount of hours are apportioned each week to various job seeking tasks. A typical job search could be broken down as five hours per week on communications (i.e. letters and emails); three hours devoted to online searches; and 10+ hours per week for networking, and so on.

Isn’t it interesting that the largest amount of time for your job search is directed toward networking when some estimates claim that as many as “85 percent of jobs are filled through networking”? Some people might notice a correlation there.


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