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How to Juggle a Full-Time Job AND a Successful Job Search

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We all the know the expression, “Looking for a job is a full-time job,” but what if you actually have a full-time job? Working 40+ hours a week while trying to lead a successful job search can be challenging to say the least.

Here are four tips for juggling work and a grueling job search:

1. Make the time, and use it wisely

I know it seems like there are not enough hours in the day, and that means something’s gotta give. Whether it’s giving up an hour of sleep, your Sunday brunch or your spin class, that time has to come from somewhere — but don’t worry; it’s only temporary.

Try to allocate an hour a day to your job search. Since you’re only going to give it one hour per day, use that hour wisely. Shut down Google Talk, turn off your cell and really focus on the task at hand, whether it’s browsing for roles, putting together applications or preparing for an interview. Really make it count.

2. Choose your jobs carefully

Making it count means not applying to every job you see. Trust me — getting out of work to go on interviews (if you’re lucky enough to get called in!) is not easy or fun. Make sure you’re only applying for roles you really want to go after wholeheartedly. Also make sure you’re applying to roles that you’re qualified for. Anything else will be a waste of time that you do not have a surplus of!

3. Don’t let coworkers know you’re looking

This is a mistake I see people make often. You’re excited about the prospect of a new opportunity and feel the urge to tell a coworker. Resist that urge!

There may also be times you need to sneak away from the office. Use personal days when you need to, but otherwise schedule interviews early in the morning or late in the afternoon when you can. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be showing up in a suit every time you have a “doctor’s appointment,” either. Overall, keep your search under the radar as much as possible.

Whether it’s true or not, the perception is that if you’re looking for a job elsewhere, you’re not giving 110 percent where you are. If it ends up taking you a long time to make a move, this could negatively affect how people view you and value you in your current company.

4. Don’t let your search interfere with your work product

Most importantly, make sure you’re still delivering flawless work to your current employer. After all, they’re the one handing over that paycheck, and being mentally checked out is not professional. Leaving a job can be sensitive enough, and you want to leave on the best terms possible. You never know when you might need to use them as references. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

Ultimately, this double-duty isn’t going to be the most relaxing part of your year. Just remember that it’s only temporary, and the short-term sacrifice of time and energy will pay off in dividends when you land in a great new role.

This post originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.

Jaime Petkanics is the writer behind, an online resource which provides advice on all aspects of the job search. A former recruiter, Jaime answers questions ranging from how to write a great resume, to how to answer interview questions, and everything in between.

Your Coffee Break is a lifestyle magazine for the professional woman. Based in London with representatives in New York, Los Angeles and Paris, Your Coffee Break has rapidly established itself as the go-to magazine for business women across the globe looking for inspiring content to read during their coffee break. Follow them on Twitter at @UrCoffeeBreak.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • Rishona Campbell

    Some great advice here! I opted to quit my job so that I could dedicate myself to my job search full-time. It was a huge risk…and one that I wouldn’t have been able to take if I didn’t have some freelance gigs going on. Anyway, my biggest issue was taking time off for interviews. I did it a few times…but normally, I’m not one to take my full lunch (it’s paid). And rarely when I did have an interview, could I get there and back within an hour. So I would end up taking a 1/2 day PTO several times. Eventually, co-workers, maybe even my manager began to suspect what was up. Well it was what it was. It’s not like the job were going to come leaping out at me.

    Anyway, I felt that the fairest thing to do all around was to just leave. It took 3 long months to secure another position. But in the end, I truly believe that it was worth it!