I have vivid dreams… usually about three a night is what I remember. They are usually very active and involve running, or saving something, or intense thinking. Last night one of my dreams went a little like this:
I was under a pavillion at a campground and there were about 100 people milling around getting ready to leave. They were in various stages if breaking camp. I was watching someone who took the initiative to load the trailer we had brought… there were coolers, sleeping pads and bags, backpacks an duffel bags, camp stoves… all the usual stuff you’d expect to see there.
There was were also a couple of queen mattresses.
Not the normal camping gear, but hey, when I camp on my back porch with my kids I love to bring up a mattress instead of use a little camping pad. Who am I to judge someone who brings a queen mattress to a long camp out?
Anyway, I was watching the guy loading the trailer and he was making steady but slow progress… throwing the bags in, then the pads, then this, then that. All the while, the mattresses stayed out of the trailer. Eventually I thought, “if he doesn’t put the mattresses in, they aren’t going to fit anywhere, and he’ll have to unload the trailer, put them in, and then reload everything!”
I didn’t have time to tell him… my mind moved on to the next dream, but the whole time I was thinking, “DUDE… the mattresses! Do the mattresses!!”
The reason I’m sharing this is because you have a list of things to do today. Think of “today” as your trailer, and the “list of things” as camping supplies. You have to fit your “list of things” into “today,” right?
I’ll tell you what your queen mattress is right now: it is reaching out to humans. Calling them, emailing them. Not in a group or list, but individuals.
A lot of the job seekers I talk to would rather send mass emails or group messages than reach out to a single person and ask for a call, meeting, or meal. But that, my friends, is networking. We need to make individual connections and have conversations with individuals.
You can do all kinds of other things in your job search… look for job openings on job boards, polish this resume, work on that cover letter, do research on LinkedIn, even poke around JibberJobber looking at stuff… those are not necessarily bad things. But if you spend all of your time doing that, you’ll fill the trailer and still have the big mattresses left… which means you’ll have wasted time and energy.
Get the big mattresses in first… MAKE THE CALLS, every single day, to individuals. Once you have done that, then you do the other stuff (try and do it by order of importance).
Over the years I’ve written a lot about this topic. Here’s one of my favorite posts: Stop hiding and actually start your job search.