First and foremost, it means recognizing that – particularly in “meager” economic times like these – it may take you longer to find a job, and that you’ll have to do plenty of legwork. Treating the job search like a job means you remain professional when contacting and meeting with potential employers, and it means you turn in professional resumes, cover letters and other supporting materials — just as if you were turning in written work product on the job.
It also means that you should set concrete goals for yourself when it comes to job searching. For example, resolve that you’re going to attend three new networking events each month, that you’re going to follow up with one of your contacts each week, that you’re finally going to request those informational interviews, or that you’re going to read one weekly article about legal careers and job hunting.
Finally, keep close track of your job search, and document everything you do. Come up with an organized system for tracking every contact, follow-up, application, and communication with a potential employer. For example, list:
- The date you applied for a new job
- The materials you sent or brought with you as part of your application
- The date you followed up on a job application
- Any communications you received from the employer in response to your application or follow-up
- The date you made contact with a potential employer
- The substance of your communication with the employer
- Any referrals you received as part of that communication
- Any job offers you receive, with detailed information about the position and your response to the employer