From Overwhelmed To Organized: Use This Strategy To Simplify Your Job Search

Mary's head was spinning. Her career and life were at a crossroads moment. Not only was she looking for a new job but she was planning a move from L.A. to Boston with her husband.

She had built her career at a national accounting firm where she had been for 6 years but was ready to try something new. She was interested in maybe going in-house and working on the client side of the business or maybe doing something completely different.

But with her full-time job and planning a cross-country move she was feeling stuck in her job search. She felt like she had so much to do but no real direction. She had no idea where to start. She wanted to research companies, network with friends and colleagues, and learn about new opportunities. Her job search to-do list was long and getting longer and she felt bad because none of it was getting done.

Introducing The Career Design Job Search Tracker

When tackling any big project, like a job search, you want to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. And one of the best ways I've found to organize an unwieldy job search is to break it down into four parts:

  • Industry
  • Organization
  • Job Role
  • Person

When I walked Mary through the tracker she immediately felt relieved. It was exactly what she needed to feel organized about her job search. She could now see exactly what she needed to do and whom she needed to talk to and her job search no longer felt overwhelming.


We started with identifying which industries she was interested in working with. As an accountant at a big firm, she had worked with clients in several different industries and because of that experience she chose the industries she enjoyed the most. In her case, she enjoyed working with her food and beverage and hospitality clients the best.


Once we had the industries picked out we identified organizations in the Boston area that she would like to work for or learn more about. Through online research, we came up with a top 20 target list of organizations including Sam Adams, Ritz Carlton, Mass Brewers Guild, and Mass Food Association to name a few.

Job Role

As an accountant, she could easily slide into another accounting role but she was also interested in sales, marketing, and business strategy roles. By identifying the roles she was interested in we were now able to take her search a step further and identify the right people for her to talk to.


For companies like Sam Adams and Ritz Carlton, we used LinkedIn to identify people in accounting and marketing roles that she could reach out to and have an informational interview with. These interviews gave her invaluable information for her search. She learned about how these people got their jobs, what they liked and didn't like about their companies, and what they would recommend she do if she wanted to find a job in these industries.

Over the course of three months, she had over 30 informational interviews either via phone from L.A. or in-person when she visited Boston. Through her conversations, she built up a network of people and learned about job opportunities that she would have otherwise never heard about because they weren't posted online. Ultimately she was able to land a job in an accounting role with a hospitality company because one of her contacts in L.A. introduced her to his contact in Boston.



If you are feeling overwhelmed by your job search and want to get organized enter your email below to get the Career Design Job Search Tracker.

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About The Author

Mo Chanmugham, Esq., CPCC is a former lawyer turned career coach and the founder of MGC Coaching. He helps ambitious professionals who are feeling stuck gain the clarity and confidence they need to create more fulfilling careers.

#coaching #careeradvice #jobearch #networking #informationalinterview


If you are interested in learning more about how career coaching can help you create a more fulfilling career visit MGC Coaching.