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Use Personal Kanban to Manage Your Job Hunt

by Johanna Rothman

Looking for a job is a stressful and complex process. Considering where to apply, polishing the resume, gathering and reviewing references, managing social media to keep up with the right network – all this is not only a lot to manage, but also a lot to be worrying about. Wouldn't it be good to find a way of making this process easier and less time-consuming?

Personal Kanban

This is a great match to this kind of work. Visualizing all the ideas and objectives you have in mind on a whiteboard or a digital board leaves your mind free to concentrate on the things needed at the moment, without having to keep the entire process at the back of your mind. Using this approach allows you to get a clear view of what is being done, at what stage in each company you've applied to you are and what requires your focus at the moment. Transparency of the process eases up your mind and allows for quick prioritization and good use of your resources.

How to make it work?

The easiest Kanban board is built of 3 just columns – to do – doing – done. It can be drawn on a large sheet of paper, a whiteboard, a cork board or a door. It's typical to use sticky notes as task (item) cards, with the idea being that you're able to move them from one column to another as the progress on this task happens. All tasks shall be created in the leftmost column and travel towards the right as you go on.

WIP limits

It would be good idea for you to set aside a specific column for the job offers that you have had call-backs about. This way, by adding WIP (work in progress) limits to it, you're keeping taps on the upcoming meetings, making sure you know what to prepare for. Also, you're limiting the danger of building up your expectations towards all possible callbacks to only those that have happened.

Reviews

What Johanna suggests is managing the job hunt in weekly iterations. This gives you opportunity to review what you have been doing, think over the patterns of the responses you get and perhaps think of what can be changed. It may be that altering a detail in your resume or changing the profile of the people you link with on social media will be able to make a significant difference to the results.

Implementing Personal Kanban for a job search isn't a key to finding a job, but is a definite help towards is, as knowing what you're doing is a necessary step towards achieving any goal. Transparency of your actions and a plan are a good way to significantly reduce the stress associated with the job searching process.


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