Career Tip 22: Get Unplugged – Control Internet Time

Control Internet Time

This is the age of online job boards. Nearly everyone begins a career transition by first turning to the Internet. It is as natural as coming home from work and turning on the TV. It is safe, comfortable, and undemanding. So fine, do it. Get it out of your system. It may take a while—for some, a long while—until you realize how much time this approach will take away from other productive search strategies.

When you begin to sense that the Internet is devouring most of your day, STOP! Go back and read our Tips on networking.

A waste of time?

More than half of your job-search workday spent on the Internet is generally a dreadful waste of time. Bleary-eyed job hunters often call us after having spent weeks in cyberspace. They often relate that there are too many job boards, time-consuming application processes, etc., and that they cannot keep up with it all.

Too much time spent on the job boards is keeping you from a more balanced approach to managing your job transition.

Too much time spent on the job boards is keeping you from a more balanced approach to managing your job transition.

Here are four productive online search strategies:

  1. Review local and out-of-town newspapers, chamber of commerce and economic development websites, etc. Turn information that begins as thoughts into leads that move you ahead of others waiting for a job posting to appear.
  2. Search organizational or corporate websites, research the companies, review job opportunities, and submit applications where appropriate.
  3. Search a few job boards. Find the ones you want to focus upon and forget the rest. There are better things to do with your time.
  4. Update your LinkedIn profile using key words you are identifying in relevant job postings.

We agree that the Internet is a great place to gather information. Job boards and organizational and company websites often provide the start for ideas well worth pursuing. Just limit your Internet time to no more than half of your day.

Yes, people do successfully land jobs through the Internet. We also know many people who have found great jobs following our networking recommendations. Said another way, the Internet is there to help you—not to absorb you.


  1. Today, continue to consider what is Internet Gold and what is Internet Rubble and where you might best spend your time online.
  2. Tomorrow, stay off the Internet job boards for the entire day, and think through your strategy for finding your next job without using the Internet. A good way to begin this process is to simply create a plan to talk to or network with people within your database of contacts. See Tip # 24.

A Note to a Client

Hi Carline –

Regarding the newest job-board website you found, you asked if this one is worth your time. Tough decision to make quickly, as every situation is different and requires research as to what job boards best fit your situation and career track. 

However, there is a caution. We meet so many people who have invested countless hours uploading resumes, cover letters, etc. to dozens of opportunities each week. Most of these individuals think they are being productive—generally, maybe yes, and maybe no.

  • Yes, there are always a few selected career websites that are worth your effort.
  • No, just not 100% of your career transition effort. 

Again, let me reiterate, a few hours per day of job board activities is going to be productive. If I were you, I would actually count and post how many hours you spend each day on the Internet versus our other recommendations.

You are making excellent progress in your job search. Be cautious not to fall into the trap of letting the Internet occupy all your time.    – TJD

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