How to Create a Job-Searching Space at Home

Your job searching workspace should be separate from all distractions in your apartment. Image: Covington Place, St. Louis, MO

Your job searching workspace should be separate from all distractions in your apartment. Image: Covington Place, St. Louis, MO

If you’ve graduated recently, we can guess what kind of conversations you’ve been having with your friends and family. When they see you, people likely offer a bright “Congratulations!” followed closely by an inquisitive “Have you found a job yet?”

If the answer is no, that question starts to get old – and after a few weeks, it’s downright annoying. We’ve been there, so we know getting your career started is hard, especially when you’re right out of school. Once you’ve thrown your graduation cap in the air, it’s time to buckle down and do some serious job searching – and what better place than your apartment? There’s an art to creating the perfect space to search for your dream job, and we’ve got a few pointers to make that happen.

1. Make your workspace personable.

The key to job searching is to treat it like your job. Start early. For a few hours every day, you should be holed up in your workspace, perusing job listings and emailing contacts. So, since you’re going to spend a good amount of time there, why not make it a place you enjoy being? A nice lamp, pictures of family and friends, and inspirational quotes can make your workspace feel more like a living space, and you’ll be more productive if you’re comfortable and happy.

2. Keep away from distractions.

Even if your workspace feels like a living space, that doesn’t mean you can watch daytime TV and make a sandwich while you’re job hunting. Set up your desk away from the distractions in your home so you won’t be tempted to do anything else other than what you’re supposed to be doing.

Make sure everything you need is within easy reach so your workflow won't be interrupted.

Make sure everything you need is within easy reach so your workflow won’t be interrupted.

3. Have your tools at your disposal.

You never know when you’ll need to print something or fiddle with your Internet connection. You don’t want to interrupt your job searching mojo by pugging things in and figuring out how they work – set up all that stuff beforehand so your workflow will be streamlined. Keep your phone handy on your desk, but don’t use it to text your friends or check Facebook (in fact, the Anti-Social app is a great way to block your social media channels temporarily so they won’t tempt you while you’re trying to work. There’s also the StayFocused app, which limits the amount of time you can spend on social media.) But you do want your phone within easy reach in case a potential employer calls you.

4. Stay neat and organized.

An organized desk means you know where everything is at all times. If you take the organized-chaos approach at your desk, that’s fine – but be sure you’ll be able to access important things whenever you need them. If a potential employer calls and asks for your references, you should have that information at the ready.

5. Create a visual way to track goals.

Whether it’s a calendar, a white board or a bulletin board, you need a way to keep track of all the jobs you’ve applied for and the people you’ve met. You can do that on your computer, but sometimes it helps to go old-school and have a physical organizer that hangs on the wall or sits on your desk. Anything that helps you stay on track and organized will help you land a job.

More resources for the grads out there:

What are your tips for effective job searching?

Photo credits: Covington Place, St. Louis, MO; Shutterstock / K. Miri Photography

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