Ways to stop procrastinating on your job search

April 28, 2010 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Conducting a job search is hard work and can be tough on the ego — you’ll hear an awful lot of “no’s” or “not now’s” before you can get to that “we want you” call. Consequently, many people relegate job-hunting tasks to the bottom of their to-do lists — thinking that they’ll get to it later when they’re not “quite so busy.” Yet, unless you combat that procrastinating tendency, all you will do is delay the inevitable and it won’t be any easier to find a new job in a few months than it is now.

In some ways, those who lost their job have more of a built-in check against procrastination in their job search (as they need a new job to pay the bills!) than those who are conducting a job hunt while still employed. It’s a lot easier when you have a job, no matter how miserable you may be in it or how numbered your days there may be, to tell yourself that you’ll start looking later. Procrastinating always seems easier than doing. Yet procrastination — born of fear, uncertainty and worry about the future — is just a form of inaction; by replacing it with action — even little steps — you will be closer to getting a job. Often, getting started is the hardest part.

Here are some tips for curbing a tendency to procrastination and energizing a job search:

*Set deadlines, even if they seem artificial. Journalists are especially good at this — we tend to live on deadline! Though deadlines in newsrooms are real and the consequences for failing to meet them (most of the time, anyway) are unpleasant, you can mimic this in your job hunt. If you are job hunting full-time, set yourself daily and weekly deadlines you must meet. For instance, at the start of the week, plan to send out so many applications and give them specific deadlines; you might even set up your electronic calendar to give you deadline warnings. Tell others who are helping you with your search about your deadlines so they will help you to meet them. Reward yourself when you do and find a way to give yourself consequences — nope, you can’t go to a movie tonight because you’re behind on job-hunting tasks — when you miss deadline.

*Take small steps. Often we procrastinate because an endeavor like a job hunt seems so overwhelming — especially because its outcome is so important to our future well-being, and it involves a lot of sometimes disagreeable tasks (who would choose to be rejected again and again?). But if you break down what’s involved into smaller, easier-to-handle tasks, a job hunt seems a lot easier to manage. A friend whose kids are now grown employed a good strategy when they were little — the “start with a corner” approach to cleaning their rooms and organizing their book bags. Find a corner of your search — making some networking appointments, taking steps to update your resume, finding a few job-search sites you’ll check regularly — and start there. Once you get going, you often are willing to take that mental energy that you were using to procrastinate (because procrastination is work, too!) and expend it on job-hunting tasks. Also, once you’ve had some success — those networking appointments start turning into job interviews — you’re more willing to focus on a job hunt. This is especially important for those job hunting while still employed who are in effect working two jobs — one at their job and the other (at night and on weekends) on their hunt. Finding a way to get started and keeping the hunt going is key in this instance.

*Be your own CEO. I know, this sounds like some advice from one of those goofy self-help books. But I’ve found it really works. One of the silver linings of a job hunt is that it allows you to be in charge — you’ve got no one to report to in this project. So think, what would a good CEO do? He’d (and yes, CEOs are still most often men; but ladies, let’s keep trying to do something about that!) be organized, set timetables, set measurable goals, have a strategic plan, be competitive and aggressive, use his network and develop a good team. He wouldn’t be putting things off until later. CEOs don’t have that luxury — they are accountable to shareholders and a board and must find ways to deliver. So must you. If you want or need a new job, employ those same strategies. Set definitive timetables, give yourself measures for success with rewards and consequences, push yourself and develop a team (see next item). Act like you’re in charge. Above all, hold yourself accountable.

*Find a team. Though you can’t delegate most job hunting tasks (where is your staff in this project?), you can turn to others for support, encouragement and advice. Come up with a “kitchen cabinet” for your job search to whom you will report regularly on this project. It’s best if they are people from different parts of your life — a close friend, perhaps a relative (though it may not be smart to rely too much on a spouse or partner for help with the nitty-gritty of a job search as you’ll need their support in other areas of your life), a former colleague, a former boss and someone outside your work life. Communicate with them regularly on your search and ask them specific questions about what they’d do. This will help keep you from procrastinating as you know they’ll be waiting for your updates.

*And here’s some good news about a job hunt ended well — Chuck Hoskinson, a member of the CQ/Roll Call “Gang of 45” who left there last September, has started a new job this week in POLITICO’s Arlington newsroom. Chuck’s title is contributing editor, though it’s a full-time position, in which he’s managing and editing news for the site. His background in politics, editing and electronic publishing is a recipe for success in this town. Congratulations to Chuck!

*Here’s a batch of good leads to pursue today:

*Deloitte’s D.C. office has an opening for a federal communications analyst; this could be a good opportunity for a transitioning journalist:
Internal Communications Analyst – Federal
Deloitte – Washington, DC
Communications Analyst’s ability to manage and coordinate a number of complex internal communications… industry communications Email communications Surveys…
From Deloitte

*DynCorp in Falls Church is looking for a senior director of media communications:

Senior Director, Media Communications
DynCorp International LLC – Falls Church, VA
Media Communications � Job Code: D1308E Job Summary: The Senior Director, Media Communications serves… and interpersonal communications skills to interact…
From CareerBuilder

*Liquidity Services has an opening in D.C. for a director of corporate communications and investor relations:

Director, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations
Liquidity Services, Inc. – Washington, DC
of all external communications activities for LSI… agency or corporate communications environment • Excellent judgment and communication skills in handling…
From Liquidity Services, Inc

*Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems office in Arlington has an opening for a director of public relations and international communications — those with a defense (reporting or editing background) could be a good fit:

Dir I Public Relations and International Communications
Raytheon – Arlington, VA
VP of Communications on all external communications… of Science in Communications, Business, Public Relations, Organizational Communications or related…
From Monster

*Here is a magazine editor opening in Rockville:

We are hiring for the editor’s position for per concordium, a magazine produced by EUCOM. It is a FT position on a 5 year contract located in Rockville, MD. US citizenship required.

Scott Kleinmann
Concepts & Strategies
Analyst, Asia Pacific Affairs

*With a hat tip to mediabistro.com (for these next several leads), Crain’s Investment News has an opening in D.C. for a reporter:

Investment News
Industry B2B Publishing, Magazine Publishing
Benefits 401K/403B, Dental, Health
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements InvestmentNews is seeking a deadline-oriented reporter to provide coverage on the financial services industry, with a strong emphasis on developments affecting the financial advice business. This person will report on subjects such as legislative and regulatory issues affecting financial advisers, developments in tax law that may affect advisers and their clients and Securities and Exchange Commission policies. This person will also be expected to cover live events in Washington, including Congressional hearings, SEC meetings and will also be expected to travel outside of the capitol to attend industry conferences or meet with the InvestmentNews’ management team in New York. This person will provide coverage for our flagship InvestmentNews weekly newspaper, our daily e-newsletter and our special reports. In addition, this reporter would also be expected to take part, and in some cases oversee webcasts, round-table discussions and conference panels. The position is based in DC and involves being a part of a team of U.S.-based reporters.
If you are a news hound with six to ten years of experience, particularly in covering financial services or financial advice, we encourage you to apply.

Six to ten years of professional news reporting experience in a deadline-driven environment, especially in working to daily and weekly deadlines.
Demonstrated ability to break hard-hitting news.
Bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field.
Ability to develop a wide variety of sources, including those on Capitol Hill and within such regulatory bodies as the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Ability to turn complex subject matter into clear, well-organized news stories and to translate jargon into meaningful news to an informed audience.
Ability to work collaboratively, take direction and be flexible.

Crain Communications Inc is one of the largest privately-owned business publishers in the U.S. with over 25 leading business, trade and consumer titles in North America and Europe. As an authoritative source of vital news and information to industry leaders and consumers worldwide, each of the company’s newspapers, magazines and electronic news sites have become required reading in their respective sector of business and consumer market. Providing unmatched value and award-winning editorial excellence, the company is respected for its dependable journalism which readers have relied upon for over 90 years.

Crain Communications offers a competitive salary, a generous benefits package, and a friendly work environment. This is a great time to join our organization — a well established publishing leader. To apply for this position please visit our website at http://www.crain.com and search under the employment section.

We thank you for your interest in Crain Communications and invite you to visit our website as positions are updated regularly. Crain Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About Our Company Crain Communications Inc. is one of the largest privately owned business publishers in the U.S. with over 25 leading business, trade and consumer titles in North America and Europe. As an authoritative source of vital news and information to industry leaders and consumers worldwide, each of the company’s newspapers, magazines and electronic news sites have become required reading in its respective sector of business and consumer market. Providing unmatched value and award-winning editorial excellence, the company is respected for its dependable journalism that readers have relied upon for over 90 years.

*Share Our Strength in D.C. is looking for a director of communications:

Share Our Strength (District of Columbia)

April 27, 2010
Washington, DC 20036
POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Director of Communications
LOCATION: Washington, DC

Organizational Overview: Share Our Strength is a national organization working to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Share Our Strength weaves together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children facing hunger and ensure they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play. Working with the culinary industry, Share Our Strength creates engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation, the nation’s premier culinary benefit; Great American Bake Sale, a national grassroots effort; A Tasteful Pursuit, a touring dinner series; Great American Dine Out, a week-long program involving thousands of restaurants nationwide; and Operation Frontline, a cooking-based nutrition education program. In 2010, Share Our Strength launched No Kid Hungry, a campaign to eliminate childhood hunger by 2015. To learn more about Share Our Strength, please visit http://www.strength.org.

Position Overview: Share Our Strength is currently seeking a Director of Communications to lead all aspects of the organization’s communications. With primary responsibility for developing and implementing communications strategies for Share Our Strength’s various initiatives, the Director of Communications will manage the brand, craft key messaging, and oversee campaigns across a variety of communications channels. Additionally, the Director will be responsible to securing national, regional and niche press coverage for Share Our Strength and its central issue of ending childhood hunger by 2015. Reporting to the Managing Director and working closely with the Executive and Senior Teams, the Director will oversee a staff of eight.


Strategic Communications:

• Develop and execute multiple communications campaigns for Share Our Strength and its programs, focusing on building the organization’s brand and visibility
• Build and oversee Share Our Strength’s brand, editorially and graphically; craft and oversee messaging that unites the organization’s audiences (donors, volunteers, corporate partners and participants) towards the goal of ending childhood hunger
• Oversee the production, design and content creation for Share Our Strength materials, including annual report, brochures, fact sheets and special projects, as well as new media strategies and campaigns, including online communications, writing and production of organization’s multiple websites, online production, and social media outreach

Public and Media Relations:

• Actively pursue coverage in the television, print, and radio press, developing and maintaining press relationships to advance the goals of the No Kid Hungry campaign; engage Executive Team in press opportunities.
• Lead Share Our Strength’s engagement with key media partners: Food Network; Meredith Publications; and key trade publications serving the restaurant community, working closely with the corporate development team

Leadership and Staff Management:

• Provide leadership and management to the communications team of 8, comprised of public relations, design, writing and online marketing staff; set priorities, establish performance goals and measures, coach, mentor and evaluate performance of a diverse group of talented professionals

• Oversee the team’s capacity to provide public relations, design, and communications support to Share Our Strength departments, including the Development Department; the Field Department; Operation Frontline; and the Childhood Hunger and Grants Team

• Build and maintain relationships with Share Our Strength Executive Team, Board of Directors, national media, corporate partners, consulting firms and volunteer leaders


• At least 10 years of experience in a communications, public relations or brand management position, with at least 5 years in a management role, preferably in an entrepreneurial or nonprofit environment
• Deep experience in public relations is required, including demonstrated success securing press coverage at national, regional, and niche media levels based on deep and active press relationships
• Ability to lead staff, make decisions and prioritize competing requests in a resource-constrained, fast-moving organization
• Superior written and verbal communications skills
• Experience working on a national campaign or issue area is highly desired
• Interest in the mission and values of Share Our Strength
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; advanced degree preferable

To Apply: Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, in Word format and addressed to Pat Nicklin, at http://jobs.cgcareers.org/application.aspx?id=1608. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About Commongood Careers: Share Our Strength has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Director of Communications. Commongood Careers is a nonprofit search service that connects talented individuals to organizations that are dedicated to creating positive social change. Founded and staffed by nonprofit professionals, Commongood Careers offers personalized, engaged services to jobseekers and organizations throughout the hiring process, as well as access to a wealth of knowledge about nonprofit careers. Learn more about nonprofit jobs at Commongood Careers.

*And to wrap up today’s leads, the Associated Press has an opening in D.C. for a newsperson — specifically someone with writing and video editing skills for TV:

Associated Press
Industry Internet/Online/New Media, Newspapers, TV/Cable
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements The Associated Press seeks a Newsperson for its Washington, D.C. operation.

The newsperson writes, edits and files video packages for AP Online Video and Associated Press Television news; works with the assignment desk and supervisors to coordinate all content for video packages, ensuring a well told, clear, concise and balanced story. The newsperson monitors breaking news events and reacts as necessary by dispatching crews and creating topical video packages. Newsperson scripts packages for web users and for television broadcasters. The newsperson edits video packages using a non-linear editing system


The Associated Press is looking for an experienced television journalist with strong writing and video editing skills. We want producers who take ownership of their stories and work through obstacles to get the job done. The ideal candidate has solid news judgment, reacts quickly to breaking news and has the ability to work in a high-pressure, dynamic newsroom environment. Previous experience working in a multimedia newsroom environment is a must along with strong interpersonal skills. Candidates should have experience editing non-linear video, preferably FinalCut Pro. The preferred candidate is familiar with photo editing software, preferable Adobe Photoshop. Must be able to work all shifts, including overnights and all days of the week, including weekends.

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

AP seeks to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences. We support all aspects of diversity and provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran in accordance with applicable nondiscrimination laws.

To apply for this position, please copy and paste the following link into your browser address bar:

Good luck on the hunt!



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