Turn the extra hour you earn when you change your clocks this weekend into a Career Power Hour. The most common challenge I see those seeking a new job or promotion or change of profession face is the lack of a plan. Time waiting for friends, colleagues, and clients or time spent commuting is often consumed wishing more progress was being made towards achieving the next career goal. Use your “extra hour” this weekend to develop a plan that lets you turn short periods of “downtime” into career building blocks. Create a list that includes your career goal, the actions needed to achieve it, and break each task into manageable tasks. Maintain the list on your phone or in the pad folio you carry to meetings so you don’t have to think about what to do; you only have to do what is on your list. Here are some common-career building activities and ways to break them into manageable tasks that can be completed in less than ten minutes.

  • Identify companies and organizations where you would like to work; use short breaks in your schedule to sign up for automatic job notifications.
  • Create a list of your 10 most challenging interview questions; developing answers for these is a great activity while commuting.
  • Visualize and list the challenges you will face negotiating your next job, raise, or promotion; invest in a book on negotiation you can tuck into your briefcase or purse and read a little each day.
  • Expand your LinkedIn network; it only takes a few minutes to ask people who work in a company or profession you are interested in to join your network.
  • Develop a list of professional relationships you want to nurture; use downtime to determine what you are going to say a person on your list the next time you see them.

Lorraine Beaman is an interview, salary negotiation, and onboarding coach who works with new graduates and first time professional achieves their career goals. You can contact her at Lorraine@interview2work.com.

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