The basis of the Quantified Self movement is that data plus meaning (organization) equals knowledge and more importantly self-measurement can lead to productiveness, allowing the tracker to use effort wisely.
Self-quantifiers are measuring heart-rate, diet, steps per day, sleep patterns, relaxation time, blood pressure and various other personal factors to gain insights into their life.
Since the early 2000s data analytics has been a huge focus of corporations as they wage effective and productive campaigns both internally and externally. The fact that we now have people crunching numbers on their very existence doesn’t surprise me.
Olympic athletes have been doing this for years. Weight Watchers uses the method as its foundation and when it comes to health and wellness research, we’ve known for hundreds of years that certain amounts of rest, food and water intake are needed for optimal health. It is apparent that numbers do bring knowledge. Self-quantifiers though are taking it one step further, a huge step further, and I can’t help but think the application of analytics could be productive for one’s career. I believe this practice can be leveraged to promote true career change.
Last fall, Phil Bowermaster wrote a blog entitled The Quantified Career in which he mentions an analytics tool by Jobster. This particular tool assesses how your career measures up against your peers. However, as opposed to doing a post-mortem on your current career, I believe we can and should be self-tracking as we look for new employment options. Not every job search method will be productive for each person and tracking can help you define what works for you so you can use your time more efficiently in the future.
What kinds of things could employees track?
1) If currently employed, track your time at work and productiveness each day.
2) Track time spent exploring new opportunities or applying to positions both within your current company and externally.
3) Track the number of exploratory conversations with those internal to your company.
4) Track the number of exploratory conversations with those outside your company.
5) Track the number of jobs you’ve applied to and the time spent with each recruiter.
6) Track how you feel each interview or in-take conversation makes you feel. (For example, I’m a morning person and I realized years ago that I should never interview at 3 PM. I’m usually up at 5 AM and by the time that afternoon lull rolls around, I’m just not on my toes anymore.)
7.) Track response rates for applications to various job boards. Do you a higher response rate if you apply to Linkedin postings as opposed to job postings on elsewhere on the web?
8) Track number of resumes that go over with a cover letter against those that don’t. Is there something to be understood in the data?
Certainly this isn’t an exhaustive list of what could be tracked, but tracking of any kind when it comes to your search and career is better than none. Remember, data plus organization equals knowledge. When it comes to job hunting, data plus effort, plus organization should equal interviews.