I’m in the middle of a job search, and I’m using Beeminder to keep me accountable for making consistent progress toward that goal. In the spirit of only minding activities I have direct control over, I’m counting pomodoros of effort on the job search. This works well, but (hopefully soon!) I’ll end up running into a problem: I’ll have accepted an offer, but will still have 7 days of yellow brick road on a goal I’ve already achieved. I can’t just set an end date, because I don’t know when that will be.
Of course, I’m sure that I can just email support and have them resolve it. But this isn’t the first time I’ve wished there was a way to set up a “consistent effort until I reach a defined endpoint with an unpredictable date” goal.
Has anyone else had experience beeminding a job search? How did you approach this?
One way to solve it might be to say that a job acceptance equals 7 days’ worth of pomodoros. Which might also have the added value of a celebratory spike at the end of your graph.
I would consider adding Fine Print on goals that have an unpredictable resolution date (e.g. job search). The fine print could say something like if I get a job then I can archive the goal and put in data so that I do not derail.
I’d email support so that we can stop the goal straight away and tell you how awesome it is that you succeeded in your search. Maybe we need a ‘goal achieved!’ button that helps with this.
It’s tricky because any manual solution is indistinguishable from cheating. That’s mostly why we put a human in the loop for whenever you need to shorten the akrasia horizon. Explaining the reason you need something to happen straight away is a useful preventative…
PS: this is a great example of using Beeminder for important and complex goals; thanks for sharing, and good luck!
I am also Beeminding a job search, though I am using @adrienle’s Beeminder-Toggl integration to keep track of time.
I sort of assumed that after accepting an offer I’d just count time at work towards the existing job search goal. Also, I’ve heard elsewhere that it’s important to quietly keep looking after you accept an offer, because there’s still a chance of things falling through until you really start.
But I think emailing support for all these sorts of exceptions could work even better. Support is the best!
I just like to spare them unnecessary communication because of how or how often I mess up data points or forget to enter data because I got distracted by a conversation about Mars rovers or blue whales around deadline time. Yeah, sometimes it’s been like 20 times a single week for stuff like that. But they are always very chill and kind about it.
You should definitely not hesitate to contact them when your amazing work has culminated in a new job!
Very best with your job hunt, fellow job hunter!
My job search took much longer than I’d expected. It helped a lot that I’d been using Beeminder, because I could see that I had indeed been putting in a reasonable amount of effort. In the past, when I’ve had trouble finding a job, it was always due to the fact that I hadn’t really been working effectively on the search process. But this time I had evidence that I’d been doing my due diligence - it just wasn’t working.
After about 3 months of searching and basically no responses, I finally was forced to admit that the sorts of jobs I was looking for weren’t available to someone with my qualifications - and if they were, the pay wouldn’t cover my cost of living. So I decided to look in other areas. Almost immediately after broadening my search, I got an interview for a position that is pretty much my dream job. And I got the job! I’ve been working there for two weeks now.
It was a tough decision to make the move across the country, but the combination of Beeminder and my application records gave me proof that (a) I wanted the job, as evidenced by my willingness to keep paying for Beeminder to keep me on track; (b) I’d been making as much of an effort as I was realistically capable of doing; and © despite that, the search just wasn’t working - and I couldn’t afford to wait indefinitely. Having that proof made the move feel like a strategic decision, not just ‘giving up’.
The concern I mentioned in my original post turned out to be a non-issue; a couple day’s worth of in-person interviews gave me enough of a spike at the end that I could have just archived the goal. But I emailed support so that I could have it accurately reflect the end date, which nicely concluded what may be the most interesting graph I’ve created so far:
Thanks for all your support!