You’ve done the work. Over the past 12 months you have searched your soul, done your research, and carefully planned out the job change you’ve been dreaming about.
This job change will have a profound impact on your life. Not only will it move your career forward, increase your income, and reduce your commute, but it will also finally allow you to align your work with your passions.
There is one problem.
While you are anxious to put your plan into action and reach your job change goals, there are only 24 hours in a day.
With your current job, long commute, bills to pay, and family responsibilities, it feels like you have little-to-no time to devote to going after the change you want.
No matter how hard you try, it seems you just can’t carve out the time.
The truth is, that no matter what your goals are, learning how to manage and prioritize your time is a critical skill on the path to success.
Ready For a Job Change? Think Like an Entrepreneur
One of the reasons so many people seem to struggle to gain traction when it is time to find a new job is their mindset.
Job seekers get stuck in an employee mindset!
It makes sense. You are an employee, after all, and when you achieve your job change goals you will still be an employee.
But what if you were to shift your mindset to begin managing your career like a business?
Even as an employee, you truly are your own boss. Even if you’ve never thought of it this way your career is a business and you (i.e., the services you offer) are the “product” you are marketing to employers.
Change is rampant in the corporate world. Whether you invite it or not, it is a near-certainty that change will impact your career. Wouldn’t it be better if those changes were ones you proactively sought?
Once you begin thinking of it in this way, you realize how important it is to take control of your career and your career future.
Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to your career is a shift that will help you to focus on the most important tasks.
It is true that as an entrepreneur your time is more valuable than it has ever been. But as an entrepreneur taking charge of your career, you are solely responsible for yourself so your ability to value your time and make every minute count will have a major impact on how successful you’ll be.
Fail to make this important shift in the way you spend your time, and you’ll always struggle to get to where you want to be.
Managing Your Job Search Like an Entrepreneur
Thankfully, it’s not all that difficult to break that cycle and transition your way of thinking from that of an employee to that of the boss of your own career. Once you’ve made that mindset shift you realize that managing your time like an entrepreneur isn’t just desirable, it is essential.
Here are some tips:
Set Realistic Goals
You must be honest about what you’re capable of getting done on any given day. Then you need to determine how many hours you’re willing to invest in your career management and then assign those hours to specific tasks that will take you closer to your career goals.
Chunk Your Time
Multi-tasking is an efficiency killer. Successful entrepreneurs learn to focus as a way to maximize their limited time. Chunking your time is a strategy in which you decide to focus on just one major task at a time (or even per day).
Try creating a detailed list of all the tasks associated with your job change plan and goals. Now go through and prioritize those tasks. Busy work won’t get you closer to your goals. Give the greatest priority to those tasks that will move the needle the most and then choose from that list when you plan your chunks of time.
By focusing on one main task a day, or at least per segment of the allocated time, you’ll be able to focus strictly on getting it done because you’re not being constantly derailed. Give it a try! Chunking is a great way to boost your productivity and get more done in less time.
As an entrepreneur of your own career, you’ll want to optimize your workspace so that it’s supporting a focused, productive workflow.
Does your email really need to stay open while you work so that all those notifications cause you to continuously check your inbox?
Cutting out distractions plays a huge role in your ability to prioritize. Every hour needs to count and you’ll get a lot more done if you focus each segment of your time on only one task. No outside interference!
As for your workspace itself, try to find a space that you can dedicate to your career management work. Clear away any clutter and distractions. Focus only on your list of career priorities while you are in this space. Remain aware. If you find your mind drifting, bring your attention back to the task at hand.
Create a Routine
Even if you can only find one hour per day, if you stay focused on your career management goals and tasks during that hour, you will be one hour closer to achieving your job change goals.
Maybe you can get up one hour earlier each morning and then set aside one hour each evening after dinner and commit to using those two hours daily to work on your career management.
Or, maybe it would work better if you dedicated six hours every Saturday and then 30 minutes each weeknight.
Whatever it is, create the routine and then stick to it as if your career and income literally depended on it, just like an entrepreneur.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re struggling to get things done, take a step back and think about where and when your efforts were derailed.
Were you spending too much time in email or on social media?
Did you fail at prioritizing your goals and ended up spending too much time on things that don’t matter as much?
Self-correcting and holding yourself accountable are two very important lessons when it comes to being successful in business and the same is true for your career management.
Holding yourself accountable isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. If you take the time to identify where you went wrong, you’ll stay clear of those areas in the future, correct the issue, and move on.
The Truth Behind Procrastination
Even the most dedicated and ambitious entrepreneurs can find themselves derailed by procrastination.
If you’ve followed these tips but still find it difficult to discipline yourself to stick to your routine for career management, the culprit might be procrastination.
But here is the truth. You aren’t lazy. You are scared!
Intentionally or unintentionally, all of us can find ourselves wasting time. But when it comes to building a successful career, many times it is our own fears that we need to conquer.
When you’re dealing with self-doubt, everything feels a lot more difficult than it is. We find a million reasons not to get something done because internally we’re constantly sabotaging ourselves with the belief that we’ll likely fail, so why bother?
Procrastination is a business killer. It’s also a career killer because if you’re allowing negative thoughts and self-doubt to lead the way, you’ll never have enough faith in your abilities to see things through. You’ll not only take longer to get ahead, but chances are you’ll never reach your desired destination.
Many of us are afflicted by negative thoughts and self-doubt, so if that’s you, know that you’re not alone. Feeling like we’re not good enough, or that any success we’ve experienced was somehow unworthy is a common struggle with people all over the world – both entrepreneurs and employees.
Deep down, you know it’s not true. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are and deserve every bit of success you achieve. Overcoming those feelings will take personal will and determination, but if you make the commitment to yourself and your career, and you persevere, nothing will stop you from reaching those job change goals.
Take career management action every single day. Dig deep and work diligently toward your job change goals.
No, it won’t always be easy and it will take a determined effort on your part, but if you work towards reprogramming your way of thinking, you’ll vanquish those success-constricting messages and reinvigorate that desire that made you take the leap from the employee mindset to the entrepreneurial mindset in the first place.
You got this!