Balancing career and family is not easy. I am a father of three wonderful children, with ages 10, 8, and 5. They bring my wife and me great joy!
However, they are also a lot of work. Between school, extra-curricular activities, and daily routines, the time flies. Between the time at work and the time at home, there is no more free time. The days of binging Netflix videos are long gone.
So, what if you find yourself in search of a job? How do you manage all of the above or even an online career search?
Finding the time
An online career search can feel like a full-time job. Updating the resume, writing a new cover letter, and networking with other professionals all take time while in search of a job. None of these career search requirements are trivial pursuits.
I have changed jobs twice since I have had kids. Thankfully, both times I was still employed. Indeed, a mentor long ago taught me:
“It is better to look for a job when you have a job”
However, with family obligations and a full-time job, where do I find the time to keep balancing career and family? I do this in the following six ways.
1. Attitude adjustment
The first step is to treat time as money. Benjamin Franklin, in Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One, reminds us, “Time is money”. Many of us work hard at balancing career and family. We work hard to be good stewards of our money and many struggles with the stewardship of time. While wasting time does not feel as tangible as ripping up money, it is equally unwise.
The second step is to schedule a time where you can focus on your online career search. I would schedule an hour every other day to define my professional brand, review my CV, my LinkedIn profile, my online content, follow-up with my network, etc. I schedule this in my day just as I would schedule a workout. Note: Balancing career and family while in search of a job is much easier when you are healthy.
3. Ask for help
Leverage your entire network and ask your family, friends, and mentors to help critique your CV and broaden your network. Or, hire a professional to work with you. Announce you are in search of a job. See who can help you with your online career search.
4. Take your time
Unless your current job is in jeopardy, take your time in your offline and online career search. Use the time to reflect on your career objectives, your value proposition, and most importantly your brand.
5. Be strategic with your timing
The Spring and Fall are the two seasons of the year where employers are most likely to be actively hiring. So, you will want to launch your online career search in January/February to prepare for the Spring hiring season; similarly, August for the Fall hiring season.
6. Be picky about what you do
Since you’ll have limited time available while balancing career and family, make your interviews, networking meetings, and applications count.
Do not put this off
Our time in this world is finite. It is fixed, and the clock is ticking. Even if you are not in search of a job, make the most of your time.
If you feel like a new job would be better both professionally and for the family, you need to pursue it to start balancing career and family. With a better stewardship of time and help from your network or other professionals, you will be able to find a new job.
It may feel daunting, but this career search will take you to the next echelon of your career and a new chapter of your life.