Isn't it amazing how busy you can be when you're unemployed? Sometimes you're even too busy to look for a job.
How much time do you spend per week on your job search? Sit down and figure it out. Average in any day or week you weren't working on it, including vacations, time spent on personal projects, and so on.
You may be surprised to see how little time you've been investing in your future. Looking for a job is a big project - a job in itself.
Should it be full-time? It depends how soon you need to be working, taking into account your finances and the fact that after about six months of unemployment, you become less attractive to employers.
So, let's say you're considering job search to be your job.
If you had a job, would you take large chunks of time off throughout the month to do things around the house, or take vacations longer than two weeks? Even requests for help from family and friends shouldn't automatically derail your job search activities. It's understandable that your loved ones may see you as having time on your hands – and if you've been less than diligent in your search to date, then it will be especially hard to say no!
But once you've established a solid habit of productivity, you will be able to give an answer like this:
"I may be able to give you some help with that, but I'm pretty busy. I need to overhaul my LinkedIn profile and take a tutorial on how to use it. I also have eight informational interviews and networking meetings scheduled this week, plus my job club and volunteering at a professional association meeting. I really want to have a job within the next couple of months."
Set a schedule and stick to it. Promise yourself a really dynamic first week "on the job" to establish good habits. It doesn't have to be a 40-hour week; 30-35 hours may actually work better, since job search activities can be draining.
Even more crucial than spending enough time is how you're spending the time. Develop a proactive strategy involving a list of target companies, networking and possibly some volunteer work. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, considering enlisting the aid of a job search coach.
Design a smart campaign to get a job, be persistent, and get a great job sooner.