Are You Working Up a Sweat in Your Job Search?
Whenever I ride my road bike, I see all kinds of people getting exercise. I often try to guess what their goals are. Obviously, many are focused on weight loss. But some of these folks are not working very hard. I realize we all have different constraints on our exercise routines due to injury, illness, and disabilities. All programs need to be designed with these serious considerations in mind.
However, what thought goes through your mind when you see people walking along slowly while drinking coffee or talking on the phone? Do they come home feeling invigorated and step on the scale to see how they did only to be disappointed?
It seems like a job search can be a similar situation. You can plod along and do the minimum required to convince yourself that you're engaged in job search. You can update your resume and put it out there on the job boards. Perhaps call a company or two inquiring about the job postings you saw on the website. Or you can run.
Both situations call for effort. Now, I know many of you are putting in huge efforts in one or both scenarios. I'm not picking on you. If you can look at yourself in mirror and say you're doing everything you can, I'm your biggest fan and applaud your efforts and tenacity. Really.
But if you're thinking you're putting in effort and not burning some calories in the process... different story.
By the numbers
One calorie approximates the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree. Using a calorie burn calculator, here are a few facts about calories burned in one hour for a 158-lb. person (keep in mind there are 250 calories in one Krispy Kreme chocolate iced glazed doughnut):
- Walking for pleasure: 251 (I'm guessing this doesn't include walking with coffee or cell phone in hand)
- Running at a pace of 12 minutes per mile: 574 (a fast-walk pace is around 13 minutes per mile)
- Running at a pace of 9 minutes per mile: 790
At very high walking speeds, you are using more muscle groups with arm motion that burn up extra calories with each step.
There's a pretty significant difference between a casual walk and moving along briskly. And, now multiply the difference by the number of times you go out to exercise. I'm not advocating that walkers need to be runners. But I am wondering about how much effort some of the casual walkers are putting in. If they're out for a breath of fresh air, a casual stroll is perfect. If they're looking to lose weight, the numbers don't lie.
Don't walk, run
In looking for a job, how many hours do you research companies, leverage social media, go to networking events, talk to recruiters, set up informal/informational interviews, tweak your resume to fit specific job postings? Maybe you need to talk to a career coach. There's always a new avenue to explore. Slowing down doesn't help. Get there faster: Run.
To "run" in your job search, you need to spend approximately five to 10 hours per week networking. Networking takes on different flavors than you might think. For instance:
- Researching who your LinkedIn contacts are connected to counts as networking. You might find ideas on where to apply or who to talk to about new opportunities.
- Within Facebook, you will find groups that you might be interested in and that may lead to jobs. How? Join the group and watch for meetings. Go to their meetings and learn new things and meet new people. Ask them if the company they work for is hiring.
There are lots of creative ways to meet new people -- and new connections are the link to new opportunities. Find ways to connect.
How many calories are you burning in your job search? Are you working up a sweat?