Don't have time to job-hunt?
Episode 179 - These strategies and tips can help you find the time.
In today's fast-paced world, finding time for job searching and career planning while working full-time can be a daunting task, especially during the pandemic with remote and hybrid work. In this episode, I address this challenge and offer practical solutions to make the most of your time while working remotely.
I discussed the concept of asynchronous work, which refers to communication and tasks that don't require an immediate response. I have also shared some of my favorite project management software and video messaging tools to facilitate asynchronous communication, which can be just as productive and even more efficient than synchronous communication.
I also highlighted the benefits of using calendar scheduling systems, messaging apps like Microsoft Teams, and implementing synchronous communication when necessary. You will also learn the importance of setting guidelines for effective asynchronous and synchronous communication to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page.
Overall, I offered valuable insights and practical advice for anyone struggling to balance job searching and career planning while working full-time. Whether you need time to rest and relax or pursue other interests, the tips I provided in this episode can help you make the most of your time while working remotely.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Other resources from RenataBernarde.com :
About the Host, Renata Bernarde
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients
Timestamps to guide your listening
02:41 - What is asynchronous work?
04:48 - What is synchronous communication?
05:56 - How Video Messages Can Transform Your Business Communication
08:53 - The Benefits of Using Calendar Scheduling Systems
15:25 - Maximizing Team Communication by using messaging apps like Microsoft Teams
17:20 - Implementing Synchronous Communication
19:41 - Creating Guidelines for Effective Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication at Work
22:09 - The Importance of Synchronous Communication for Team Building and Culture Development
Transcript of this episode
Asynchronous work is a simple concept, do as much as you can with what you have, document everything, transfer ownership of the project to the next person, then start working on something else.
This idea of asynchronous work, as opposed to synchronous work, is important to understand. And I'm going to explain to you the differences and why we're so set on synchronous work, as opposed to asynchronous ways of communicating.
One of the biggest problems that we face as professionals that work full-time is finding the time. And our lives to focus on job searching and career planning. There just aren't enough hours in the day. And I have found with clients and people that reach out to me for advice that sings the pandemic with remote work and hybrid work.
Even though there are many upsides to that way of working, the downside has been excessively long hours working in your current job that really doesn't allow you any extra time to do the job search or the career planning that you want to do.
So, if you can relate to what I just said, this episode is for you.
We're going to talk about tools, and mindset changes that you can incorporate in your day to day to with time freeing up you to do other things. It may be something other than job searching. It may be something else entirely. And I'm okay with that because I think the benefits of these ideas and tools that I'm going to share with you today.
I can be used for several things, not just job searching. Right. You might need some free time to rest and relax or spend with your family. Whatever it is that you need to do is fine by me. One of the things that I believe we, as individuals working in the corporate sector. Haven't totally embraced yet is the idea of an asynchronous work style.
So what is asynchronous work? I love this quote from somebody I follow on Twitter, his name is Preston, and this is what he said. Asynchronous work is a simple concept, do as much as you can with what you have, document everything, transfer ownership of the project to the next person, then start working on something else.
This idea of asynchronous work, as opposed to synchronous work, is important to understand. And I'm going to explain to you the differences and why we're so set on synchronous work, as opposed to asynchronous ways of communicating. So the way that we work in an async way, I'm going to just use async as a shorthand.
Usually is via email, and that's not really the best way to do asynchronous communications. So emails are fine. Text messages are fine. But for example, adopting instant messaging like slack, or in my case, I use Microsoft teams to work with my team. And I was also leaving people voicemails on WhatsApp or your phone. My favorite, you know, is video messaging and all the types of async communications that you may have at work. For example, if at work you use a tool like Asana, Trello, or Notion, which are project management tools.
That is important to help people that work with you and help you work remotely in a hybrid way. And it's the way of the future. Some people believe that all remote work is the future of work. So embracing async communication as opposed to sync communication is what's going to make that work for all of us.
So what is sync communication? Sync communications are phone calls. Video call us like Zoom on-site team meetings. Conversations with your coworkers. It's when you are face-to-face with them either in person or via zoom or via phone. That is a much harder way of communicating when everybody's working remotely.
You may have people overseas, interstate different time zones. Whereas once you adopt a all remote work for us as well, some people may find that they are more productive doing the night. If they have young children, for example, they need to take them to school. Bring back from school meeting. Those meeting hours is not as easily done.
And I think that all of these things are not problematic. They're just things we need to adapt for in a modern world. Asynchronous communication is way more flexible, and it can be just as productive. I understand the need to sync communications from time to time. I don't question the need for that.
But I believe that 90% of your time during your week, you can easily communicate with your employees, with your employers by doing asynchronous communication.
It can make you a better communicator as well. You can prepare things in advance and make sure that you're sending all the right messages. And you can make lists and then record that video message, for example, which is what I do. Very often with my clients. I love doing it, it's so efficient, and I can showcase things to them on the screen. So I often use a tool called Loom. And I will share it with them. Let's say a screen with their resumes or a screen with their LinkedIn profile. If I'm working with my team, I will share a screen with the planner that we have, you know, a link to our project, and there will be a little circle with my face.
So it's a bit more human and a bit more personal as well. And we will go through what needs to be done differently in that resume in their LinkedIn profile or if I'm talking to my team with our planning for the week. So that really is how I think asynchronous communication can be way more efficient and can be done at whatever time suits you.
It's also very authentic. I don't think that there are any issues with async communication. If it's done intentionally and mindfully, and of course, tailored to the individual. You're sending it to me. That's why I really like video messages because I usually tailor them to the recipient, and I do special, very personal videos for my clients and for people that work with me on a very regular basis. It takes me only a few minutes. It's very easy to use. I think there are other platforms out there, but I find long, very efficient.
You can also keep all of those little videos in our library. So, if you're doing a how-to and showing people how to use something at work, you can just save that. So the next time you have to show that same thing again, you can send that video again and again. So you can have a little library of how to videos.
And it will be great for onboarding teams, onboarding staff members. Yeah, so I find that really beneficial in a time-saving exercise.
So one of the other ways I use an async style of communicating with people is when I'm trying to book sync meetings. So I find bookie media is incredibly tedious. I find it really hard to do. It was the biggest problem that I had when I started working independently as a career coach. And I have very quickly adopted a calendar system. I use Calendly now, but there are other calendar systems out there that you can choose from. And I find it many people have an issue with that. So I wanted to address stat. It is incredibly efficient. Okay. So any issues that we have with scheduling, being a bit rude. I know that some people think it's rude to send a calendar link to ask somebody else to book their own time in your schedule. I think we need to just get over that, frankly. And, of course, I think that there are ways of sanding it, depending on who you're sending it to. That makes all the difference. So, yes, there is a status quo balance that we need to keep in mind.
When we send our calendar link invitation to people, so for example, I have several links in my Calendly for different individuals. If I'm sending a calendar link to a client to book a coaching session with me, I'm making it clear to them that if they can't find a time, he might calendar they should email me straight away or even call me straight away so that we can find a time together. These people are my clients. They have paid me to work with them. So if they have an emergency and they need to book a time with me, I don't want them to be constrained by the times that they see available on my Calendly. Suppose there isn't a time there that suits them. That's totally okay. Just getting in touch with me.
So I understand the power balance between my clients and their needs and how busy they are. And how I need to support them no matter what. That's the same situation for my Calendly for one-on-one coaching sessions. I stated very clearly that if this is an emergency or you cannot find a time in my calendar, please email me so we can find a time together. And what it does is it's, you know, sort of filters in it's a self-selecting process.
If you're not in a hurry, you will find time in my calendar. That will be plenty of opportunities for you to connect with me, but if there is an issue, if it's an emergency, and if you need to talk to me straight away. Then reach out to me, but it saves me so much time. I'd say that about 80% of everyone.
I can find a time in my calendar, and those that can't have really important reasons why they can't, and it's mine, just reach out to me, and we will find a time together. That's the same with my podcast, a guest link. So I have guests on my podcast that reach out to me occasionally, inviting themselves to speak, and I assess their fit with the podcast philosophy and what we stand for. And if they are a good fit, I will send them a link to book a time for the interview. And I have specific instructions there as well.
You know, please book. Four weeks from now to allow me enough time to understand what, you know, your business or read your book or whatever it is that they need to promote through the podcast. So I think it's important to explain that in the calendar invitation when you send it out.
And you can certainly do that when you are sending out your emails. With a calendar link, you can have templates that you copy-paste into your email. To explain why you have that calendar link. And if it's easier for them, please, you know, use it, or if not, just propose a couple of times that will suit them.
And, you know, Being flexible, especially for managing up, is important. Right? So I, really. Believe that Calendly and other calendars are scheduling systems—the way to go. To organize our synchronous communications in the future. And we shouldn't feel constrained by it or feel like because somebody sent you a link, they're being rude. I know that some people. I think that even Calendly put out a very nice etiquette.
A PDF file on how to write emails, including the calendar link, in a way that doesn't rub people off the wrong way. Knowing your audience and knowing who you're writing to and sending the link to is important. But finding ways to facilitate those synchronous communications in a way that doesn't take 2, 3, or 4 emails, backward and forwards, trying to find a time is also really important.
I have a client who has recently tried to book some important meetings with other stakeholders internally in her organization. And it got so complicated that, you know, she felt pretty upset about it. And it has been harder and harder to book those meetings now because nobody's around.
In the office anymore, everybody's working remotely. So finding ways around it has become a must for professionals. So, yes, I think if you manage your synchronous communications and your meetings, in a way that is easier for you and your team is critical. And if you start adopting asynchronous communications as part of your way of working in the future is the most essential thing that you can do to allocate time for life to happen. And for you not to be glued to your desk at all times. So what are my favorite asynchronous communication tools? As I said before, video messaging is my favorite by far. And I am a big fan of Loom. Loom is L O O M. There are other applications, but the loom is my favorite. And I have mentioned that in this podcast before. If I kseeeach an episode, I will put the link below. But that is my favorite. The other one that I have been using a lot lately, we have implemented Microsoft teams. Chat with our team, and I have found it incredibly beneficial. It has emptied my inbox, making it much easier for me to work with my team member. So I think that that is something that if your company has it and you haven't been using. Then it's probably beneficial for you to start being an adopter. It could be slack. It could be teams. I find that most of my clients use Microsoft teams.
And I would strongly recommend that you log in first thing in the day and send everybody you know welcome.
My recommendation is not to wait until you need something from somebody to log into your messaging app. I would recommend that you do that first thing in the day, send everybody a good morning message, and let them know what you're working on. Or with today. And keep them up to date as you go through your day.
You were sending messages on that instant messaging app that you use at work to communicate with your team. I also have found that some groups enjoy using WhatsApp. Depending on the country or just the culture of the place. The audio messages and text messages in a group Whatsapp are beneficial and can really help.
It's something that you can do on the go on your phone very quickly. Of course. So that could also be beneficial to you.
Okay. So how do you implement synchronous communication at work? It's important for you to either champion it or advocate for it. If it's not there, or if it's there that you adopted and used it thoroughly. So you have to figure out at what stage of asynchronous communication style and adoption your organization is currently. And.
Suppose you were in a position where you were the implementer. Step one will be to decide. Which parts of the work that you do? It can be done in an async calm sway. And implementing those first steps with your team, determining which things can be done, a sink versus sink. I have a client that recently decided to cancel all of their upcoming meetings.
And only have meetings when things need to be. Our urgent or there's an emergency people can. Come to their calendar invite and book a time. So there is plenty of time in their calendar now because all the meetings have been canceled, which is fantastic. So she has decided that that's how she will work. Everything will be asynchronous. The communication, it's not that the communication isn't there. It is there and very thorough, detailed, and tailored.
As I mentioned before. It's just not in a meeting format. So she will send information to her team in that async way. And she also expects the team to send communications back to her. In an async way, but if there is a need . have a one-on-one face-to-face via zoom or groups or phone call.
It's easy to reach her because her calendar is not bogged down with meetings, and there is always time for people to reach out to her. She has allocated, I think, a couple of hours during the day where people can always book a meeting with her if they need. And she's using something like Calendly. It's not Calendly. It's something else.
But it's working for her? We do out. So, you know, step two would be to decide how you will use a synchronous communication. So let's say you've brainstormed with your team different ways of adopting async communication. Outlining to the team and identifying things that can be done, a sync in things that need to be decided face to face.
Using synchronous communication is essential, and that's a new policy that we probably don't have yet. I don't think many organizations have created policies or guidelines about asynchronous and synchronous communications. Maybe this is something that you might need to take up and do with your team or for the organization at large.
They were identifying The different ways that synchronous communication can happen. And the different tools that you will be using as a team are essential. Because the problem with asynchronous communication without guidelines and policies is that people will use different types of asynchronous communication, and it can get messy. Right? So you want to identify, for example, we will only be using loom and teams.
Or we will only be using slack and WhatsApp. Those are two ways, right? I need clarification on it. And usually, when I have new clients, They don't yet know how to reach out to me. And I have some clients that tend to write very long messages to me on my phone. And I have to then tell them the next time I meet them. Look, I prefer our async communication to be done this way. Otherwise, it's too many different ways. You know, if clients send me LinkedIn messages or
email messages, or phone messages. It's very confusing and hard for me to keep track of. So I usually work with them on one or two ways to communicate a sink that works best for me. I usually have 15 to 20 private clients at any one time. So as you can imagine, I really need to make sure I don't miss anything.
By not giving them clear guidelines and maybe missing out on something they sent me.
And then the final step is to make sure that you organize some synchronous communications from time to time, and it doesn't need to be about work. It just needs to build rapport to build interaction and socialize with your team. So from time to time, always remember that there is a reason why we meet.
There's a reason why we need to see people face to face. And that is to build trust. To get to know people and work better with them in the long run. So even if it's making a synchronous team, eating to socialize at the end of the week, and talking to each other, it doesn't have to be about working. I recommend it not being about work, leaving all the work comms async. And the fun comes to be sync. That would be my recommendation because it builds better culture, and socializing with your coworkers helps the team become high performing. I hope you have enjoyed this short episode. I have recorded it with a bit of COVID.
Fortunately, I have finally, after what, three and a half years. I got my first bout of COVID-19, and it's been a bit difficult to record, but I want to do it for you. And I hope you have enjoyed learning about asynchronous communication styles and the importance of building the guidelines around them and creating them with time. It won't happen overnight, but with time I find that you will have more time to yourself and then more time to potentially look for that new job. And plan your career. And maybe even find time to work with me. And if you want to know more about the work that I do, please go to my website. There will be a link to it in the episode show notes below, or you can go to renatabernarde.com.
I'll see you there. Bye. For now.