Managing Your Time During Your Job Search (Part 2)

You applied to several jobs and suddenly have five interview requests. While you’ve taken the tips outlined in Part 1 to heart, somehow you still can’t fit all of it into your schedule. The questions now are, “Should I meet with several companies? Or should I stick to one? What companies are really worth meeting? How do I decide what to prioritize?”

To answer these questions, list out your priorities and goals in your career, then ask if the company (not specific “job description”) could help you get there. You can use the formula below to eliminate a couple of companies from your list:

  • If your interest level is 50/50 or higher, go to the interview.

  • If you are 99% sure you’ll never take the job, take it off your list of priorities and save it for a later date

Even if you are not proactively looking for a job, but are approached specifically for a job opportunity, its valuable to meet other companies to gain an understanding of what else is out there. After all, how can you compare your offer if you have nothing to compare it to?

Do not base your decision off of a job description because they are generally meaningless — the real clarity will come from actually meeting with the company, the people that work there and hearing it first-hand. We tend to have an “image” of a company, basing our opinions on hearsay that is not necessarily factual, until you meet with a hiring manager in person it doesn’t become “real”. Typically, perceptions we have of a company as consumers of a product or a business (B2B or B2C) are quite different from what actual employment will be like at that company.

Another benefit of considering multiple options is increased leverage when negotiating salary and benefits. “Company X offered me this, so I expect to get at least X or more.” Remember you’re not committing to anything by going to an interview. Saying yes or no, with the signing on the dotted line comes afterwards.

We have a tendency to get over excited by good news — getting a job interview request is flattering. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you will pass the first step or that you’re even the person they are looking for after many steps. Stay positive and focus on what’s in front of you, namely, preparation for the next interview.

The takeaway here is that you should meet with enough companies to maximize your opportunities without sacrificing time for quality preparation. Doing this will focus your time on the right opportunities. From there you can use tips from part 1 to further prioritize and maximize efficiency.

Good luck. Happy (job) hunting. If you have any time management stories you’d like to share or questions please feel free to reach out.