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If you’re on the hunt for a new job, the search may feel endless, but giving yourself a deadline can speed things up and keep you motivated and on track. Career expert Caroline Ceniza-Levine says 90 days is an ideal deadline for your job search.
Break it up: during the first 30 days, reassess your passions and what your next move should be.
“I always recommend to people making a career change to go toward something,” she says. “So it’s not, I don’t like this or I’ll take anything else. Instead, think, I want this new thing in particular.”
Once you’ve zeroed in our your job goal, spend time polishing and updating your resume and fill in any skill gaps. Most importantly, reconnect with your network. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 70% of people get hired from a connection they have, so it’s crucial to mine your network.
The next two months of your deadline should be spent putting in the hustle to get your next job! Plan to dedicate at least two hours a day to job searching if you have a full-time job already. If you’re unemployed, job searching can sort of become your full-time gig. Dedicate eight hours a day to locking down your next opportunity.
Getting through the HR process will add additional time to the search: it takes an average of 38 days for HR to fill a job position, according to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiting Benchmark Report.
If 90 days have come and gone and you’re still no closer to having a new job, don’t feel like you’ve failed, says Ceniza-Levine.
“It can be a fungible deadline, but I like to give people enough time to look but not so much time that they then spend months and months and haven’t done anything,” she says.
However, it may be time to pinpoint some issues if you’re not making much progress. If you’re not hearing back from a recruiter, your resume might be the problem. If you’re called in for an interview and then the opportunity falls flat, your interviewing skills might need some work, or there may be issues with your references or background check.
Hire a career coach to help you smooth out these problem areas, or ask a coworker you trust or your mentor at work. Getting feedback is crucial to moving forward successfully.