Looking for a job is a full-time job

Job Search Position: No Full-Time Hours Required

Saying NO to the Work Equivalent Job Search

Don’t you just love the adage we hear as job seekers (unemployed job seekers specifically), “looking for a job is a full-time job?”

Who hasn’t heard this since your job search started?

Of course, while unemployed, there’s an urgency to get a job. In spite of this, should this process really be full-time (as in 8am – 5pm daily per say) for the tenacious job seeker – considering the toll of unemployment as it is? 

Side Tracking Moment : Has any of these people endorsing this adage been unemployed for 6 months or more?

Back on Track: For some reason, people believe this is an effective job search strategy. Many job seekers have taken this advice literally while I mull over its effectiveness and benefits to us.

As I stated previously, job searching, specifically over a significant amount of time, is exhausting. And so often, I wonder how in the world 40 hours a week would NOT ADD to this exhaustion. This type of job search only rids you of the energy needed to job hunt in the first place.

Have you been using this technique?

If so, here’s a TIP: Please make a change in your job searching. You know the job hunt is stressful, and this technique adds more stress. Remember: we must take pressure off and take care of ourselves – even during unemployment.

I have a question for those with this suggestion: Does a 40 hour per week job search result in a job offer faster than any other strategy?

In my opinion, it does NOT. In fact, it adds little value to your search. What happens is this: you burn out and moving forward in your job search becomes hard.

As the activities – associated with job searching – wear us out in the hours used to do them, it’s impossible to not become burdened by the suggested work equivalent job search.

Job Search; Life; Unemployed
Embracing Life During Your Job Search
Flickr Creative Commons Photo Courtesy of SwitcherMark: https://www.flickr.com/photos/switchermark/14676754233

Balance Needed

In the beginning of my unemployment period, I spent a lot of extra hours job searching. I always watched for new postings and always checked my e-mail because I didn’t want to miss anything.

Would you like to know what happened? I became more drained and frustrated. I experienced job search burnout.

During this time, I was consumed with job hunting, and I had to release myself from this.

It is NOT worth it nor is it healthy for us.

Now, I am NOT suggesting a slack in your search. However, because of my experience, I suggest a healthy balance between time for you and time for job searching.

In the workforce, this is referred to as “work/life balance.” We deserve this type of balance as well. We have lives, and they must go on regardless of our unemployment situation.

In order to create a balance between the two, I maintain a designated time schedule – shown below:

  1. Spend half of the day on job search activities – the morning half of the day in my case.

I do different job searching activities on different mornings. For example, one morning of the week may be used to research organizations of interest and identify a few jobs to apply for within these organizations.

Another morning of the week may be used to identify their needs/requirements in the posting and use them to write down important points and skills to include in cover letters and resumes (also known as “tailoring your cover letter and resume to the job”).

Another morning may be used to finalize cover letters and resumes for submission to one or two companies if I am not too drained from the preparation and submission of one. This would continue throughout the week, which in turn results in less of a strain on me and better prepared application materials for prospective employers.

(Note: I read an article stating that the average long-term unemployed job seeker spends LESS than 45 minutes daily on job hunting activities. Is this possible? For me, these job searching activities have always taken MORE than 45 minutes daily.)

  1. Spend the other half of the day refreshing yourself daily and doing something – productive – other than job searching.

We NEED this time off from the search.

Full-Time Job Search; Looking for a job is a full-time job; Unemployed
Job Search Position: No Full-Time Hours Required.
Original Photo Courtesy of Startup Stock Photos. Edited by Me.

For some of us, this may include: cleaning, cooking, reading/self-studying, blogging, and babysitting. For others, this may include: going to the park to exercise and enjoying a walk, spending time with family, staying at home and listening to music, or watching a television show or movie.

Refresh, Reflect, and Recognize

We know finding a job is no easy task these days. While some suggest we spend all day job searching, I suggest a balance because there is more to our lives than a job or career.

Once we get rid of dedicating all of this time to the job hunt, we allow ourselves to settle down and embrace the life we’ve been given, which, in essence, free us daily to refresh ourselves, reflect on our lives, and recognize our value outside of an employment title.

From Me to You: Three words of importance here: refresh, reflect, and recognize. Your life consists of more than job searching, so there’s no need to burn yourself out!

What do you think? Is a 40 hour per week job search effective or beneficial? Share below!

Disclaimer: I am not an HR or Career Professional by training. When I write on job search topics, I write from the perspective of an experienced job seeker that has learned a lot about job searching throughout the process.


20 thoughts on “Job Search Position: No Full-Time Hours Required

  1. I’m not sure if spending 40 hours job searching is beneficial. It’s more about the quality and fit of jobs found, rather than aimlessly blasting resumes. More hours does not necessarily translate into more success. I do agree though that those who are unemployed should find ways to keep themselves busy in other ways, whether it be part time work, contracting, freelancing or volunteering. Keeping occupied in between jobs will give you more confidence to entering into each interview.


    1. Absolutely. All job seekers should focus on quality and fit in the job search. I also agree that we, the unemployed, must keep busy in one form or another. Thank you for reading and I appreciate your comment!


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