Focus on Your 5 to 9 to Land a Great 9 to 5 photo


There’s no question that working hard from 9 to 5 is a great strategy for getting ahead. But what if you’re not exactly thrilled with your current 9 to 5 situation? Maybe you’re just overworking at your current company, or you’re ready for more responsibility, or even considering jumping into an entirely different industry.


Whatever your reasons, you’ll have a little homework to do after you clock out every day. Here are my top four tips on ways you can make the most of your time off the clock, to help you find that 9 to 5 that really floats your boat.


Tip 1: Get Smart


It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or fresh out of college, all of us can benefit by learning something new – or even brushing up on existing expertise. In the past, that meant lugging a bag full of books and hoofing it to class a few times per week. These days, however, you have a lot more choice when it comes to continuing your education. Options like self-paced online classes and traditional classes streamed online to earn a new degree are now at your fingertips.


All you need is the desire to learn, and trust me, whatever it is, you can find a way to expand your knowledge without stepping outside your front door – unless you want to.



Tip 2: Find A Hobby


Even if you have tons of experience on the job, if your life outside of work is hum-drum, it’s going to be hard to get employers super excited about hiring you. Let’s face it: It’s not just what’s on your resume that entices hiring managers to call you in for that second interview. It’s the whole package, and that means they’re interested in what you’ve got going on after hours too.


Maybe you’re into kitesurfing, or DJ at local clubs on weekends – whatever your hobbies are, make sure you dedicate time at least once per week to keeping them up. Making sure you’re a well-rounded (not to mention interesting) candidate will help seal the deal when you find the job of your dreams.



Tip 3: Get Healthy


You may think your physical health doesn’t have much to do with landing the job of your dreams but, believe me, it does. People who take good care of their health tend to exhibit more confidence and are more optimistic about life in general. These are two traits I guarantee will help you during the search and interview process, and help you land the gig you love.


Use your time after work (or before) to hit the gym, go for a run, play tennis – whatever strikes your fancy that’ll make you break a sweat.



Tip 4: Mix and Mingle


It’s all about building quality relationships so make sure to get out every once in a while. Whether it’s with your colleagues for a Tuesday morning latte, or a night out with friends, or even (gasp!) by yourself.


Getting yourself out and mingling with others on a regular basis, especially right after work, is an excellent exercise in networking, and will keep those conversational skills sharp.

Remember, your free time is super valuable. Spend it wisely, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream gig in no time.



Disclosure: This post was written as part of the University of Phoenix Versus Program. I’m a compensated contributor, but the thoughts and ideas are my own.