Success = habits.

I’ve been thinking a lot about habits and how much of our lives many of us spend on auto-pilot, following a series of long-standing habits, as we “get through” another day.

That current set of habits don’t seem to be making many of us very happy, right?  So, what if we could build new ones that would set us up for success?

Personally, I believe that people who seem successful to us have just mastered their habits in a way that allows them to be excellent.  (I’ve been following Gretchen Rubin recently; she’s written a new book on habits and I find her tips to be very helpful.)

Job search success = job search habits.

When you’re in an active job search, you need strong weekly/daily job search habits to support your eventual success.

You also may be busy at work, busy with family, not sure what to do with your time if you’re unemployed, and feeling unsure of what to prioritize in your job search.

Here are my suggestions for weekly and daily habits for a job seeker:

Daily Job Seeker Habits:

  1. Review job search alerts that you’ve set up from,,, or any job search engine of your choice.   Alerts help you keep an eye on the marketplace with only a few minutes each day.  These are not the total list of everything on the market, however; you will still have to network, work with recruiters and do other searches online.
  2. If you use LinkedIn, do at least two of the following, every day: Make a connection.  Make a comment.  Share something you’ve read.  Join a group.  Follow a company.  Send someone a note that you’re thinking about them.  Read something that’s been posted on LinkedIn.
  3. Do something to take care of yourself:  exercise or go to the gym; meditate; find 5 minutes alone in your workspace and be quiet; eat well; try not to get riled up by situations or people.

Weekly Job Seeker Habits:

  1. Contact someone (this would be 2-5 people if you’re in a full time search): recruiter, former colleague, hiring manager, mentor, protégé, job search support buddy, or anyone with information about a company, industry, or role you’re considering.
  2. Identify 1-2 new target companies.  You can use job boards, your networking activities, the local media (business news, etc.), friends or colleagues to identify organizations that might advance your career.  Add these to an ever-growing list.
  3. Read 2-3 articles about trends in your industry.  This could be from blogs, trade publications, Google alerts you’ve set up about your field, LinkedIn, or a wide range of options.
  4. Reach out regarding at least 1-2 possible work opportunities.  Inquire, create your materials (resume, etc.) to present yourself for the opportunity, interview, repeat.

Of course, there are many more things you can do… but if you’re doing these actions consistently, you should be making progress on your search.  If you’re doing them consistently and you’re NOT making progress on your search, it may be time to call in an expert.