Got a case of “False Sense of Productivity”?

Got a case of “False Sense of Productivity”?

The lives of job seekers can get quite busy.  Job seekers’ days are easily filled with many activities, such as modifying resumes and cover letters, researching companies, scouting for job leads, doing coffee meetings, submitting job applications, networking online, attending events, participating in webinars and taking classes.  Things get hectic very quickly.

Given the seemly endless pursuits job seekers are constantly juggling, many feel that they are perpetually occupied.  At the end of a busy day, it feels like having just finished a long work day. Many job seekers might think, “I feel busy performing all these tasks.  I’m being productive and it will pay off. It will pay off…won’t it?”

Being busy often gives people, including job seekers, false sense of productivity if the wrong measure for productivity is used or productivity is not being measured at all.  When your days are jam packed, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important because you don’t have much time to think about why you do everything you do.  Today, let’s take a step back and evaluate if you’re measuring the wrong things.  Don’t get caught up in being occupied with ineffective activities that generate little results.  Be sure to identify job search activities that give you the highest return of investment.

Here is a list of usual suspects of wrong measures that might be giving you a false sense of productivity:

  • Counting the number of people you “pitch” to during a network event
  • Counting job leads found, especially online job boards
  • Counting the number of hours you spend on job search

Instead, use these better alternatives:

  • Counting the number of people you build relationship with at network events.  How do you know that you’ve built relationship with someone?  If this person would later connect with you 1-on-1 (a coffee meeting, phone call, attending another event together, direct email exchange, etc.)
  • Counting job leads found via someone you know, especially someone who could connect, or even better, recommend you to the hiring company
  • Counting the number activities you’ve completed that will push you to the “next stage” of your job search, such as going from only getting phone interviews to getting in-person interviews

Don’t get blinded by the illusions of false sense of productivity.  When you monitor meaningful measurement, true productivity will follow.

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