Job Hunt, Surviving the Stalk

Harking back to one of my first blog posts, Job Hunt, Taking Down The Beast, I compared job hunting to actual hunting. The different phases; tracking, stalking, and trying for the kill. It’s funny that the stereotypical apex hunters have such low success rates in kills.

Title image, Job Hunt, Surviving the Stalk
I think I’m getting better at this graphics thing- right?

Let’s look at the numbers…

From tiger’s average 5% to the mighty polar bear’s 10% you can see that those aren’t very high. The thing is these are solitary hunters- the group and tactical hunters though, they do much better. Wolves average about 14%, lions vary 17-19%, and the African wild dog has the dizzying heights of 85% successful kill rate. If you want to read up more, I got my information from Discover Wildlife.

Why is this interesting for us job hunters?

The successful hunters have a few things in common;

  • Strategy and organisation
  • Family
  • Frequency of the hunt

See what I mean?

Time to plan!

Not everyone reveals in organisation like I do. Of course, I use Trello, as per Let Me List The Ways I Love You, I find it the perfect place to sort myself out.

This is how mine is sorted at the moment, using the “Calendar” booster option;

My trello board "Moving | Job Hunting"
So many colours, so many possibilities!

You could say this is advanced stalking. By tracking each application, with all the relevant details, whilst giving an estimated time of response I can be hopeful whilst realistic.

Each card is labelled, timed, and has the original link on them. The labels help to visually separate out the different kinds of jobs and filter them using Trello’s nifty feature. The most important thing though is being realistic- the success rate of the hunt.

Colourful tags so I can easily see what and where about the job.
Colourful tags so I can easily see what and where about the job.

As I mentioned, each card has a due date- roughly two weeks- because the chances are I’m not going to get the job. Hell, the way the job market is, I may not even get a response back to say they’ve looked at my CV. Being realistic doesn’t mean being harsh. It’s stopping me from hanging on to the applications, hoping that I’ll get a magic email or phone call. It helps to focus on what may actually happen.

There are quite a few advantages to tracking all my applications. It’s prevented me from applying for the same job on two different platforms. When I had interviews (I’ve had four so far) I had the job advertisement on hand quickly for interview prep, and able to locate the version of the CV I sent out as well.

A little help from your friends (and family)

A hunter, of jobs or of actual prey, is stressful.

You want to do your best for those around you; to bring the metaphorical and literal bacon.

Some things are simple; asking someone to look over the skeleton version(s) of your CV, debating whether the role would be suitable for you, and of course “my interview outfit doesn’t look too stuffy, right?”.

Most of all they keep you grounded. The amount of times I’ve moaned to Belov’d that I’ll never get a job. That not going to uni is now coming back to haunt me. That I was pipped to the post in the interview- nothing is more cutting than coming second best for lack of university education. Each one Belov’d dismissed logically, pointing out the flaws in my logic- and for that, I am so grateful.

Quote image, quot reads "Being realistic doesn't mean being harsh. It's stopping me from hanging onto the applications."

The feeling that you’re a burden on a household is terrible. When I was unemployed back in the UK, I did my best to make up for it when I lived with my parents. Helping with the cleaning, cooking, and random other chores- mainly to help but to break up the day as well. In Ireland I take care of it all, mainly because Belov’d’s at work for so long it’d be a bit silly to make pick up the majority of the house work. When I get a job that will all change of course- equal division of labour.

Time table

I’m going to stretch out the meaning of frequency a little bit.

You have so much time on your hands- time that used to be structured, now you’re aimless. This is when you have to take it into your own hands, and also realise a few things;

Quote image, reads "There are no 'new' jobs every day- so don't go crazy"

Even if they were, the chances are they’re not suitable for you. The worst thing possible is to take that to heart. To become frustrated with something that you can not change. If you do, you’re wasting your time.

Structure your week. Mine looks a bit like this;

Monday gathering blog KPIs, cleaning/washing, and food shopping

Tuesday reviewing job sites and emails, and applying

Wednesday cleaning/washing, house and wedding admin

Thursday reviewing job sites and emails, applying

Friday tidying up anything not sorted during the week

The weekend is still the weekend. Oddly enough, being a job hunter is a full time and exhausting job.

The next step is to count it. Make yourself accountable to yourself. Sounds a bit silly but it’s true. What I use is a time sheet, a Google Sheet laid out like this;

Screen shot of a spreadsheet, with column titles; Start Time, Description, End Time.
Just to give you an idea of how I track myself.

It keeps me on track. Show’s me what my targets for the day are, and other to dos. Instead of being distracted, I can allow myself breaks. Breaks for food, for a bit of social distraction, for a walk- just like you would at work.

Between you me & the campfire

Has there been a project you’ve been overlooking? A passion that has always gets put to the side? A subject you always wished you knew more about?

Do it. Whilst you have the time on your hands, do it. Find your thing– it will keep your sanity. My thing is this blog.

Preferably something low cost, after all your cash flow is pretty low, and that you can work on at home. That way you can invest your time into something that will bring you a bit of joy, a bit of entertainment, and a bit of distraction.

If it weren’t for this blog I would have gone a bit spare. From promoting it, reading other blogs, books to review, getting in touch possible promotional blog contacts, and of course writing for the blog.

Whatever you do don’t lose hope!

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5 thoughts on “Job Hunt, Surviving the Stalk

  1. I am always impressed by so detailed organisation – like having precise plans for every day. I am quite sure this would not work for me because I cannot plan what my children will come up with. But I may give it a try. Thank you for sharing these insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trello is very flexible, and comes on an app as well. You can organise ask sorts on there. I saw someone did a chore chart with it once. The columns were a child each and the cards the chores that they could tick off or move. It’s worth a shot!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use trello for planning my blogpost but with a different logic behind my categories. I am more impressed by your weekly schedule like on Monday I do this and that – I am happy managing to cook diner after 8 hours of work and seeing the title melody of the film or episode I’d love to watch before falling asleep 😅

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aaaah it’s only because I’m lacking that elusive 8 hours of work, kids will never be an issue, but I have to do something to do in the hours during the day- or I’d go potty😂 I use trello for my blog too! I’m thinking of writing about that later 😎 I do love Trello

        Liked by 1 person

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