Is Your Bracket Busting Your Job Search?

Don’t sideline your job search for the love of the game.

skippy march madness

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to the television show, The Biggest Loser. I love watching the contestants compete for the title of “Biggest Loser” and accomplish their dreams of healthier, thinner bodies. The “before” and “after” shots are just incredible!

But what I really love about the show is that it doesn’t sugar coat the journey. You watch people break down, fall over and truly battle with themselves along the path to regaining control of their lives. It doesn’t happen overnight. As trainer Dolvett Quince would say, it takes a lot of “hard work and determination.” Each season a new theme is chosen for the show. The themes range from ‘battle of the ages’ to tackling childhood obesity.

I bring this up because as I was looking at some data from Ladders, I was reminded of Season 13 – the season of no excuses.

In a recent survey  we found that 70 percent of those polled said that the job search was their top priority. However, as my colleague Thomas Murphy discussed in his article, job seeker activity has taken a serious hit since March Madness NCAA basketball tournaments have descended upon us. In fact, job seeker searches fell almost 30 percent during game-time in comparison to historical usage data.

Not surprisingly, men were 10 percent less active in their job search than women. In addition, we found that those making less than $100K were 5 percent less active than their more seasoned colleagues.

While I may not be a sports fanatic, I’ve grown up in a household of them and (kind of) understand the obsession. However, March Madness is no excuse for letting your job search slide.

The job search is a full-time job and you need to treat it as such. If you’re going to block off time to watch the basketball games – or dedicate time to anything else that’s really important or interesting to you – make sure you also pencil in time to work on your job-search activities.

Don’t underestimate the power of your smartphone or tablet, especially when you’re trying to balance your job search with other priorities. With all the advances in technology, it’s even easier to keep your search going while on the go. Whether you’re emailing with a recruiter, putting in a little FaceTime with a valuable networking contact, or searching for relevant jobs, you can remain a productive job seeker and an avid college basketball fan.