Should I use my week off to apply for jobs?

When you want a new job, but already have one to go to every day, working out when to actually get down to making applications can be a bit of an issue.

Sometimes, if you've booked some annual leave, and don't have anything better to do with it, it can be tempting to get lots of applications done during that time.

But is it a good idea to use your time off this way? We look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

Fab focus

On a week off work, you can put a lot more energy into the job hunt. It could be that, whereas you've been rushing to get an application done in your lunch break, or in some free time at the weekend, now you feel like you can really put that extra polish on it – and that could always stand a chance of helping to get you the job.

Make more applications

With more time on your hands, you'll be able to get more applications within a short period. Set a daily target and you could end up with plenty of irons in the fire at the end of the week. As a job hunter, it's often reassuring to know you've given yourself lots of chances to get a new job.

More thinking time

Being away from your day job could give you the head space to start to think outside the box a bit when it comes to your career, and work out what you most want to be. Maybe you've just been applying for bar jobs when really you ought to also be considering training to help you do top chef jobs in future, for example?

Research and learning

From checking up on the best interview advice, to finding out about how you could get hospitality qualifications, those little bits of research you've been putting off could be done during your time off work.

Cons

You could miss out on vacancies

If you decide to tone-down the job hunt during the weeks you're working, then do it all during the one week you're off, you could miss out. There's a lot of luck involved in spotting the perfect job, and it could be that there's just not that much out there the week you happen to be away from work. This could mean you end up feeling like you've tried hard to find vacancies but not made much progress.

You could get over-stressed

Time off work is meant to be down time, and although it could well be productive to use a lot of it to further your longer term career goal, this could also backfire. If you want to change jobs because your current one feels stressful, for example, then working all through your break to try and escape could hold you back from using the annual leave to have a useful recharging period. Always strike a balance and let yourself watch some Netflix, see friends and enjoy the break, even if you want to use a lot of it productively!

You could overthink things

Sometimes too much time is the enemy – especially to those of us who are perfectionists! Don't let the fact you have all day to work on that one application stop you from getting it done swiftly unless there's really no other way. Use a knowledgeable friend to check whether you've reached the right level of polish if needs be. 

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