Last week I encouraged you to get your Chicken List out and make a call. Just work through it.
That encouragement to finish your chicken list does not transfer over to the Honey-Do list.
Your Chicken List Is Not Your Honey-Do List
A job search is more than a full-time job. You almost have to create the wheel (well, unless you use JibberJobber), and reach deep inside to do stuff you haven’t had to do for a long time (create a resume, create elevator pitches, etc.). It’s hard to change your mindset from “sell my company’s product” to “sell myself.” And then on top of all of this – you are the one that has to execute the strategy! Its a HUGE job!
So why in the world do you think that you can knock things off the Honey-Do list? I know, you are now “working from home.” And you “have time.” And you “need a break” from the job search.
I know you have a hole in the wall. I know your toilet needs some work. I know you should really paint, or weed, or change wallpaper, or shampoo the carpets so you can have a better work environment.
But none of those things are really going to get you closer to getting your next job. Or your next client.
While I encourage you to quickly get through your chicken list, it’s different with the honey-do list.
Put the Honey-Do list away until Saturday. Pretend that your new job (that is, the job of finding a job) has you tied up from early in the morning until dinner time – and stop fooling yourself that doing Honey-Do’s right now is a good use of your time.
Disclaimer: I’m not trying to be sexist, or offensive – change the name of the list if you want. This post is not intended just for those in a job search – you know you have some kind of list that distracts you from doing important stuff. If you don’t have a “honey,” I bet you still have your own “to do” list. Same thing. And finally, this is not a ticket to not do anything ;)… I’m just saying, there are some things that are not as high a priority as working on your job search (or career management, or small business development, or your job – even if you are underemployed!).
11 thoughts on “Chicken List Is Out – Now Put Away The Honey-Do List!”
Hahaha… I’m back! I like the name of the list… I give my wife stuff for one all the time. 😛
A break from a job search should only be after you landed the job! Its all work…then time for honey-do’s.
Ahh the good old Chicken List – whether it be girls/boys in high school, sales prospects, or job search there is always a chicken list.
Great post, as usual, Jason. You always manage to hit a nerve–and that’s good. You shine a light on what people don’t want to admit.
Stalling by making busy work is SO prevalent in job search. And it doesnâ€™t have to be the “honey do” list either. People get stalled doing things that make them feel productive, but that gain them little in the way of resultsâ€”theyâ€™ll do easy networking rather than work their “chicken list,” or theyâ€™ll endlessly surf job boards, or “fine tune” a resume that should have gone out weeks before. In fact the list of job search “busy work” is endless. I always call it “low-effort, low-ROI” activity.
Job seekers use the “tweak the resume” stall-tactic a lot–makes ’em feel like they are giving themselves the best shot, when it is really disguising a deep fear of getting out there and making something happen. Best way to stop it is to acknowledge it–and you’ve helped with your post!
I always encourage my clients to treat their job search the same way they would treat a high-priority project at work. Shift the paradigm and use the same techniques for “Company You.” Scope out the project; strategize a plan; determine tactics, resources, and players; and then make it happen, every day.
Just as in a mission-critical corporate initiative, failure is not an option, and momentum, timelines, milestones, and budgets count. Job seekers need to work it until it works and theyâ€™re working!
Great topic. It is so easynot to get dressed, have cofffee, read the paper, knock off a few chores, go grocery shopping, check emails — and the day is gone. For anyone interested, i have an Weekly planner/Organizer focused on a 40 hour week getting a job.
Thanks everyone for your comments! Deb has a great post spawned from this one at CareerHub.
Another reality check from Jason – great job! A job search is a full time job. Keep adding value to your network; make deposits after you land so it is not so painful next time you are in a position to ask for help again…
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