The 2-Hour Job Search: Adding Glorious Structure to a Chaotic Process

I love following rules. If there's a systematic and structured way for me to succeed at something, I will follow the rules to a T.

I recently stumbled across 'The 2-Hour Job Search' and I've never been so excited to think about a job search. If I were a job seeker, I would put it into practice immediately. I've never thought about a logical and structured way to approach finding a job - something that I usually see as a mysterious, uncomfortable, and inefficient thing I dread having to do.

To me, here are some of the most interesting points he makes within the first few chapters:

  • Job seekers "equate the feeling of making progress with actually making progress". Eesh, that's a lot of truth time. We always feel better when we submit our resumes to a lot of random online postings... even though we probably won't hear back from any of them. But at least we felt productive! I've never thought about actually prioritizing and being strategic about who I'm contacting and how.

  • You should be making a list of 40 employers to start your search. 40! He wants to make sure people are using creativity at the start of a job search and expanding their thinking past the top 3-5 companies people have in their minds. "I’ve seen this simple act liberate students mentally to the point where they admit their initial career search focus—those first five to ten employers—was more of a family or peer expectation than a personal passion, and they decided to shift their job search focus ahead to that “future” career immediately."

  • We're getting distracted by the big name brands when we should be looking at a much larger section of the population. "99.9 percent of employers have fewer than five hundred employees, yet that other 0.1 percent of employers tends to capture our attention most of the time, making us feel (with the help of often massive advertising budgets) that they are the only options available."

There are specific rules for creating a list of 40 employers, structured ways to assess which of those employers to approach first (based on whether you have a contact there, your own motivation towards the company, whether they're currently hiring, etc), schedules for reaching out and templates on what to say to attract the right people and so much more.

I almost wish I was looking for a job (...said no one ever) so I could try this out. As someone who loves rules and organization and structure, this is my dream. As a career coach, I'll hope to live vicariously through a client who wants to try this out :D