Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

Conducting a Summer Search? Four Tips for Handling the Kids

By Greg Simpson on July 18, 2013

With the kids out of school and underfoot, what happens when you’re in the middle of a job search and they’re clamoring for your attention?

The best defense is a good offense. By focusing on the most productive search strategies – networking, social media, research and targeting – you can still conduct an effective search and have time for family activities. Here are four tips for staying focused on your search when faced with kid-related distractions:

  1. Set boundaries. Explain to your family that your job is to find a job. Then set a schedule of two-to four-hour blocks for your search-related activities (e.g., phone calls in the morning, research and correspondence in the evening, breakfast networking meetings, etc.).
  2. Schedule fun. Set aside a block of time for family activities, stick to it, and then get back to the search. You may find that physical activity and sunshine help reduce your stress and that you’re more productive after a “play date.”
  3. Network at social outings. Take advantage of the time spent standing on the sidelines of a soccer match or baseball game to network with other parents. Be prepared to tell them what type of job you’re pursuing and mention any targeted companies.
  4. Learn to say no. Just because you’re home during the day, don’t let other working parents talk you into running the carpool or being responsible for organizing activities. Your time is valuable, so allocate it carefully between your family, your search and other pressing obligations.

Sure, it’s tempting to put your search on hold – or cut back significantly on your search-related activities – so you can enjoy summer activities with your children. But it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. If you’re focused, disciplined and organized, there’s time for both.

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