Everyone begins an MBA program for the same basic reason: to take their careers to a new level whether that is field, industry, or level of positions. At Texas A&M University, we meet with every one of our new students individually to talk about their future careers short and long term. One area of the job search that many students do not expect to be a challenge is the ability to find the time to perform an effective job search in conjunction with a comprehensive academic program. I have listed a few tips to overcome the timing issue for MBA job seekers.
- You can work on your job search part time but not in your spare time: It is important that you carve time out of your schedule each week and treat it like a class or meeting you cannot cancel or reschedule. Do not be flexible with this schedule. It’s the same as being flexible with a workout—once you start making excuses; you will find the commitment falling by the way side.
- Plan your work and work your plan: Know what you are going to do during your job search “class time” each week. Just like your academic class or business presentation, you have to prepare. Know what you are going to do. Set an agenda, and keep to that agenda. And do not forget to end every session with a plan of what to do next. If you sit down to work on your job search without an organized plan you have created beforehand, you will spend your time planning as opposed to executing.
- Create an accountability group and give these people the right to hold your feet to the fire concerning your job search. You need people who will not only encourage and mentor you through your job search but also tell you when you need to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get to work. I highly recommend you read Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back to learn how to effectively create accountability partners.
If your ultimate goal after graduation is to be employed, then you have to succeed both in your academics and job search. You cannot afford wasted time on either side of that fence, thus working smarter not harder is imperative to achieve both your MBA degree as well as successful employment.