Job search to-do list

Unusual & Effective Advice for the Stalled Job Seeker

Has your job search stopped? Are you frustrated or worse? If it helps to know, you’re not alone. It happens. To most people. And, just in time, UK job search coach, Chris Delaney, offers helpful advice for every stalled, demotivated job seeker in the world, “Stop looking for a job. Rather, make a job search to-do list.”

Make a List

Go ahead, let yourself off the hook. Stop looking for a job. Break that gargantuan task up into mini-tasks and set priorities.

Rather than having your job hunt, resumes, LinkedIn, networking, cover letters, hiring managers, interview questions, references, and other anxiety-producing thoughts swirling through your head, stop!

First, visualize your desired result — a job offer for your dream job.

Next, turn your job search into a project management endeavor — think of it as professional development — and create a step-by-step to-do list.

Then, pick an item on the list, focus, and complete it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. One at a time.

Beyond the List

If that sounds too difficult, or if you need a little outside discipline, then find and join a job club. It will give you a process you can turn into a list and keep you accountable for executing it.

Or, engage a career coach. In the U.S., I like Janet CivitelliPhyllis Mufson, and Donna Schilder (in alpha order, no affiliate relationships, just respect and admiration).

A coach can also help you define your list and keep you accountable. Having a professional coach in your corner is a wondrous gift you can give yourself.

Finding a Job is Like Eating an Elephant

Now, back to the main topic of this post, a job search to-do list turns your elephant of a job search into a tasty menu you can munch one bite at a time. Stick with it, and the elephant gets eaten!


Chris offered his list advice to one of his new coaching clients. She had lost her job and done nothing to find a new one for months. Her self-talk sounded like, “I will never get a job.”

He had her make a list of everything she needed to do to find a new job.

Then he asked her to reframe her thinking. She moved from the overwhelming concept of getting a job to her more easily eaten to-do list.

Her self-talk now sounded like, “Do task number one this morning.”

As you can see, the reframe moved her from soul-crushing negativity to decisive action.

Get Unstuck

So, if you find yourself stuck in your job search, follow the suggestions above.

You will transition from a down-cycling, negative state to self-confidence and job offers.

Then, after you start your new job, send a thank you note to Chris for helping you move forward.

Crowdsourcing Questions

What tasks would you put on the list? What priorities would you set?

Updated July 2019

© 2015 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 4

  1. Task one for me is to say my elevator speech. It reminds me of my capabilities and what I have to offer, and from there Im in a better state of mind to move to Task #2

  2. John,

    I like that! Make task #1 each day saying a positive affirmation about yourself. Beautiful.

    Thank you,


  3. Donna Svei, thank you so kindly for including me (us) in your list of Career Coaches that can help a job seeker get unstuck.

    I have a passion, which my team shares, for helping job seekers manage the mental challenges of job search, get into action, and become highly productive at their job search.

    Job search is a numbers game. You’ve got to let as many people as possible know exactly what you’re looking for and put your resume in as many hands as possible! In this endeavor, productivity counts!

    And I love your idea about making a list! Lists help most of us move into action!

  4. Donna,

    My pleasure. I’ve talked with several of your firm’s happy, job-seeking clients!


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