A common misunderstanding about The 2-Hour Job Search is what the “2-Hours” refers to. Contrary to some reviews, it does not actually refer to how long per day I think people should spend job searching. Such advice would be totally arbitrary, and I’m frustrated that such daily minimums (“at least 30 minutes per day) have become so popular in career advice.
The 2-Hours from the title refers to how long I would spend job searching if you told me I had to start looking for a job right now — after two hours, I’d be done for the day, since any less time would be insufficient and any more, unnecessary. A bystander could look over my shoulder, and I myself would follow the steps from my book for the exact durations of time specified.
Within that 2-hour period, I’d create a 40-employer target list sorted into a precise order of attack based on easy-to-find data, draft an effective outreach e-mail template, identify the most promising starting contact at each of my Top 5 employers, and sent my first batch of informational interview requests out. Further effort beyond that would serve only to exhaust me, since the bottleneck in the job search process is not work ethic but the speed at which potential advocates respond.
After the first two hours, the job search largely goes on autopilot. The rules tell me what to do when, removing most of the anxiety from the process. In this way the job search becomes finite. You do legitimately “finish for the day” at a certain point, with some days featuring no job searching at all.
The job search is not a solo task; one pretty quickly needs the help of others. However, networking doesn’t accelerate just because you spend more time worrying about it.
Research has shown people make better decisions in advance than they do in the moment, so I recommend picking a follow-up routine (I’d use the 3B7 Routine I outline in 2HJS) for the outreach you send, then forgetting about it until further action is required (your contact responds or your routine’s Outlook reminders tell you to act again). Stress avoided altogether is far preferable to stress coped with.