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Doing a job search can be stressful enough on it’s own. But, then add kids at home and it’s a whole new level of being stressful. 

Here are some tips for managing your job search while you have kids at home. All. The. Time. 

  1. Be realistic about your schedule. If your kids are home (maybe because of COVID-19 distance learning) more than normal, you may need to adjust your job search time to a different time of day. For example, get up 2 hours earlier so that you can have uninterrupted time to focus on the job search tasks. I know you don’t want to get up earlier, but the job search won’t happen on it’s own. You’ll need to create some time on your schedule that allows you to focus.
  2. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Especially with the other adults in your household, if applicable. If you’re married, talk with your spouse about creating some uninterrupted time in your day so that you can focus on the job search activities. If you don’t have any other adults in the household, you may have to get some help to have someone watch your kids so that you can focus on the job search.
  3. Enlist the older kids. I don’t care what it takes, bribe them with more screen time, more treats, money, whatever it takes. You need the older kids (like teenagers) to help with wrangling the younger kids.
  4. Set clear expectations. Be 100% clear that you are NOT to be interrupted, unless there is blood or a fire. In advance, make sure to set very clear expectations with your spouse (or other adults) and the teenagers. If you don’t have clear expectations, then it will be really hard for the younger kids to be managed effectively. 
  5. Go somewhere out of the house. If you can use a local library, a neighbor’s empty home office, Wi-Fi at the park during nice weather, USE those kind of resources. Don’t expect that little kids will just automatically leave you alone because you have your bedroom closed. It’s best to get away so that you can focus and think on your job search tasks without the interruptions. 
  6. Allow for playtime. I think it’s really healthy to have playtime with your kids while doing a job search. In my Job Search Jump Start course, I even added in this aspect of your job search because I know how important it is to allow for some play time with your kids during the job search. I know that you want to focus and spend a lot of time on your job search, but maybe this is a good time to spend a little bit more quality time with the kids while you’re home more. Years from now, you’ll look back with fond memories of this time and likely be grateful for the extra time to spend with your kids – if it is meaningful and quality time that is. 

Ultimately, you know that the job search won’t happen without you putting effort in to all the job search pieces and parts, including: resume updates, applications, follow-up phone calls, networking efforts, social media posts, research, etc. So, give yourself the time you need so that you can land the job you want.