tired businesswoman is sitting at a table full of paperwork

Organize your desk for job search: five tips

tired businesswoman is sitting at a table full of paperwork

When you start a job search, you are often entering a new phase of life.

Perhaps you have moved to a new country, just completed an educational program or have left a position in which you’ve worked for some time. Or maybe you are still working but want to make a change.

Make your desk top help you manage your current challenges.

With a little guidance from Professional Organizer Anne James of A Place for Everything, I’d like to offer you these five tips:

1)      Start by clearing everything off your desk, if you can

James says this is fabulous for giving an opportunity to see items that are no longer useful. Seeing the same old things makes us blind to what we don’t need. Clearing them away wakes you up to what is clutter and should be tossed. You can put back the things you really need and move the unnecessary items elsewhere.

2)      Classify your information according to employers.

Keep track of your applications, research, phone conversations and anything else in files organized according to company names. You can do this on your computer or in paper files on/in your desk. As you accumulate more research about and applications to different companies, your files will grow. According to James, use vertical filing systems, on the wall if your space is limited. Horizontal file container systems, James says, “are just a glorified pile.”

3)      Add colour.

“Colour injection is great,” James says, “especially if it’s one you love.” One excellent way to inject colour into your job search space is in those vertical files. To get an idea of the file systems she recommends, check out  www.rackitfile.com as well aswww.freedomfiler.com.

4)      Use a vision board.

This is a cork board or whiteboard on which you assemble symbols of your goals. A picture of Hawaii will remind you to work hard to get the money and time off for a trip to the tropical islands. A picture of a size 8 dress will remind you to say no to high-calorie snacks. A picture of a diploma will keep you pressing forward in your online course. Use whatever picture or quote keeps you focused.

5)      Keep a paper shredder available and ready to use.

James says it’s better to shred documents as soon as you don’t need them than to leave them in a big pile for some unpleasant “shredding day” in the far future. Get rid of potential paper clutter before it starts to weigh you down.

During a job search, you will accumulate a great deal of files, whether they are electronic or hard copy. You’ll need to keep a copy of resumes you have sent to employers and you’ll have notes from networking conversations or interviews. Keeping these copies will help you as you track your progress, participate in interviews and conduct follow-up. Your home office will be your place for managing and organizing this project called job search. Keeping that space organized and helpful will benefit you as you prepare for a new phase of your life

For more tips, check out A Place for Everything’s website at www.placeeverything.com.

Gwen PawlikowskiAbout the Author:
Gwen Pawlikowski is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who has also worked as an ISSofBC employment counsellor with newcomers. She lives in New Westminster and loves the diversity of the Lower Mainland. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.


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