As an avid sailor these many years, I have found a certain comfort in the predictability of the tide. For example, at one time we had our sailboat in a harbor that prevented us from leaving or entering at dead low tide. An inconvenience to be sure, but one that was manageable given published tide tables.
As an accountant, the monthly cycle of accounting reports always presented to me a similar kind of predictability. I couldn’t be out of the office at certain times of the month or certain times of the year, and I knew it.
Deadlines in and of themselves provide guidance. What can wait? What needs to be rushed?
The setting of priorities is something we understand and appreciate as financial officers. Reports of various kinds MUST be filed by certain dates, as opposed to other reports and activities that have rubbery deadlines. If you don’t know the difference, you won’t be successful in your career.
Some of this same kind of thinking is hard to overcome when it comes to our job search. Just how long CAN we wait to respond to a posting we find somewhere. The short answer is, no time at all.
In the old days, we sent overnight Federal Express packages, versus now we send in a file with our reports. The world we live in has changed. The mail doesn’t come in once a day with the postman anymore. It comes in by the minute. It comes in every minute. It comes in constantly.
(Frankly, I wish there was an off switch.)
I have made the point before that Internet time means no time at all. There may or may not be an actual deadline in postings you read. Posting from The FECG normally do provide a deadline, but most postings don’t.
Our own observed truth about responses is that the early ones are usually the best. My thinking as to why runs something like this. Just as you might spot a friends name or your own in a newspaper, jobs that strike your fancy or fit you to a tee get you excited. They cause you to stop what you are doing and put other things aside. If you have only a little interest, other matters on your daily list of priorities will put certain items aside until they are on deadline.
Friends, as predictable as the tide may be and although it can be forecast years in advance, the truth on the ground (or is it on the water?) is that other conditions such as the wind can cause “the door to close” earlier or later than forecast.
It is your life. You need to be the final judge of what is and what isn’t a priority. I would just suggest to you that you shouldn’t relax in the great comfort of having made the deadline but actually missed the turning of the tide.
Unlike the railroads which may arrive early at a destination but don’t leave the station until the published time, job leads don’t work that way.
If you see something you like, don’t wait just because you aren’t yet past deadline. Get your paperwork in early and often. (No wait, that’s voting in Chicago.)