Archive for June 30th, 2008

Balance or Blend for Your Job Hunt – Which is Desirable?

Subtitle: Separate but Not Equal?

In a post in her Shifting Careers column last week, Marci Alboher links to a blog by Venkatesh Rao, ribbonfarm.com. Rao illustrates work-life balance vs. work-life blending:

Work-life

This is a topic that is top-of-mind for many job seekers, some of whom are actually considering leaving their current jobs because they don’t have enough of a personal life. It is certainly a big topic for the Gen-Y crowd, notorious for seeking balance at work and refusing to put in the long hours needed to climb the corporate ladder set up by previous generations.

This is also an issue for many full-time job seekers – where do you draw the lines between your job hunt and the rest of your life? Can you make a distinction between “time to job hunt” and “time to relax?” Should you?

The idea of a “blended life,” where work and personal life co-exist seamlessly and intertwine in a zen-like state is tough to achieve. The alternatives, totally separating work and personal time (as in balance) or having no personal time at all (as in workaholic) can be equally difficult!

When “work” is actually a job hunt, the lines are further blurred!

I advise my clients who are job hunting full time to focus on a balance – make specific time to job hunt and specific time to remove yourself from the job hunt to relax.

Does that mean that while checking personal emails, a job seeker should NEVER respond to a great lead that pops into his or her “in” box? No, but it does mean that the job seeker shouldn’t regularly allow scheduled “down” time be eaten up by job hunting duties. If it seems reasonable to respond during “job hunting” hours to an inquiry that is not urgent, that is the preferable choice.

I think any job seeker knows that, with online searches and forums and blogs, the amount of time a job hunt can take is exponential. There is always another path to follow. Everything seems urgent, and some job hunters act as if down time is “wasted time.” They think, “If time is money, every minute not job hunting is wasted money.”

In fact, blending job hunting time into “living” time seems a sure path to burn-out and frustration. While you may pursue a job that fits into a blended work/life situation, you should consider balancing your job hunt. (See the picture above – job hunting time on one side, personal time on the other side. I don’t know that they need to always be equal, but they should be separate!)

One of my clients makes a point to relax in front of old movies, just to get his mind off of things. He does this, even when he has several leads to follow-up. He realizes, to his benefit, that he will have time to pursue the leads when he is well-rested and relaxed. This knowledge keeps his batteries charged and helps prevent burnout.

So, if you are looking for permission to relax and re-charge – here it is! Take some time to take care of yourself. You (and your search) will be better for it!

Need help getting balance in your job search? Keppie Careers can take the stress out of your job hunt. We’ll write your resume and tell you exactly how to get your search off the ground. Want help every step of the way? We can do that! Contact Keppie Careers: results@keppiecareers.com.


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