By spending about on hour a day on cold searches and at least an hour or so on warm searches, you should be able to stay abreast of the job market. Your extra time will be spent talking to people, researching the companies for your warm search, and watching tons of TV. I also recommend working on some skills to help you in your job.
While I was looking for my job I noticed that many places wanted a worker with a command of Microsoft Word and Excel. I already knew Word very well, so I went through on Excel tutorial a day from Microsoft’s site so that I could write honestly on my resume, that my Excel skills were excellent. I did not learn every formula in Excel, but I learned the basics, pivot reports, and how to look for the formulas online when I am missing one.
Additionally, I searched online for free course on game theory. As any college student knows, you can learn pretty much the entire course from the course material from the lecturer’s slides. Take any college subject and google it – you’ll soon find that most lecturers from America’s top Universities offer their notes and slides online for free.
When I finally did find a job, my background in Excel and game theory helped me tremendously. My ability to analyze numbers and explain difficult financial concepts have been extremely valuable and hopefully, will help me to advance in the workplace.
Make a list of computer programs and courses that can help you in your field. If you see that nothing is available in your field, make a list of computer programs and courses that can help you in an adjacent field. When I started looking for work, I originally looked for something in marketing analysis. When I saw that most marketing jobs were really just sales positions, I switched and decided to go for financial analysis. It really isn’t such a difference and the experience opened my eyes to an interesting field that I did not originally appreciate. Whatever my future will be, the skills I am learning from my job now (dealing with Israeli banks and payment systems, department analysis, building a budget) are likely to help me tremendously whether I stick with finance or go back to marketing in the future.