Shipping tasks is important when job hunting

I’m hoping to encourage you to slowly but surely ship stuff when job hunting.

Ship stuff

One trick that separates the amateur job hunter from the professional is the habit of “shipping” stuff.

This means ensuring that each and every day you are shipping something that pushes you towards the end goal. In this instance it’s a new job full of glory and reward, or something like that.

In order to hit your goal you need to break that goal down to a series of tasks and start rattling on through them. This is especially important as you juggle parenting and maybe even your current job too.

The breaking down of tasks can take some time initially though – so carve out an hour or so to really think about what needs to be done. Once you have a list of tasks try not to get overwhelmed as the list may be long. Very long.

Instead, try to create a nice cycle of task completion. Try to do something every day. That way you’ll keep up the momentum and you’ll see results sooner. The smaller the tasks the easier they will be to slip into a few minutes of downtime or when the children are sleeping.

You could ship a new CV, another application, a LinkedIn update, a new blog post, a new interview outfit, a phone call, an email or a new connection on LinkedIn. It doesn’t matter really as long as it’s heading you to your goal.

So go forth and ship stuff. And pretty soon you’ll have that job you’re after.

Until next time

Learn more about remaining relevant and employable as a parent in The Employable Parent Brain book.

Focus on these three things when searching for a new job

When job hunting focus on the following three core activities.

I always advocate a similar amount of time for each one, but experiment with your own balance. The important thing is that you spend some time doing each one.

The three main activities that you should be doing to get a job are: Building Your Network, Job Hunting and Learning.

Building your network

Your network will lead to new connections and more opportunities. A wider network can lead to greater diversity of opportunities.

Job hunting

To get a job you’ll need to track one down so spend a significant amount of your time scouring job sites, planning your speculative applications, applying for jobs and updating your CV.


There will always be a job that requires some skill or experience you don’t have.

Sit an online course, connect with thought leaders or volunteer your time to a community project – these are all things you can do right now and they’ll give you more skills, experience and learning.

If you focus your energies on the three activities (Building Your Network, Job Hunting and Learning) you’ll increase your chance of getting a job and of you being the right fit for it.

Set realistic time frames when job hunting

It’s important to set realistic time frames when applying for jobs.

We become impatient when we expect something to happen more quickly than it actually does. Job searching often takes longer than expected.

Set realistic time frames and work within these.

You’ll also get a more realistic time frame the more you apply for jobs.

Some companies will naturally work faster than other.

Use a calendar to set yourself deadlines and targets to achieve.

Track the average application cycle time (how long it takes between applying for a job and getting an interview). This will give you some evidence to start predicting how long future applications may take.

The more data you have the more realistic your time frame should become.

Job hunting is a serious business

Job hunting is a serious business. Treat it like a serious project and you’ll get positive results. Treat it like a side project, or a drudgery that needs to happen, and this will shine through in your results.

Finding good jobs is hard. Learning skills to attain your dream job is hard. Interviewing is hard. And dealing with rejection can be devastating.
With these challenges though comes better jobs, more meaningful work and a changed you. This is the journey.

By treating job hunting as a serious project you’ll find the energy when it gets tough, you’ll remember why you’re doing this and you’ll keep striving to get the right results.
Here’s some ideas:

  • Write down why you are doing this. What is your purpose? (More money? More meaning from work? Better location? Better job? To be a role model?)
  • Read this purpose every single day.
  • Create a plan (on paper, Evernote, Trello, ToDoist, Planner, Calendar, whatever) – make the plan, put your name on it and then action it.
  • Review progress and measure it. Measure how many applications, how long they take to come through and anything else related to it. Then adapt to the numbers. If you’re submitting 20 application and only getting 1 call back, what’s wrong?
  • Stay motivated. Listen to career planners and coaches, subscribe the career advice channels, get some personal coaching. In a nutshell, stay around motivating people. Avoid those that bring you down.

Until next time

How to use Evernote for job searching

I had a fully detailed idea about how to use Evernote for job hunting, but it turns out someone else has already written a short guide. Saves me having to write it. 🙂

You can find the article here:

In a nutshell use it to save your documents, career defining moments and anything else that is useful in job hunting. (I would especially re-iterate the saving of applications – as this is the area most people struggle with)

I tend to also use Evernote to store applications and to track companies I’d like to work for one day.

Until next time.