What’s on your Chicken List?

Mohammed Al-Taee just asked me a really intriguing question via Twitter. He tweets:

Give me one task a job seeker can do once a month.


I think we can all list tasks a job seekers can do once a day and once a week, but once a month? It’s almost too restrictive – if you are a job seeker you shouldn’t be doing anything only once a month, right?


I’ve been thinking about this and I finally came up with something. First, a bit of background. In some job clubs that I attended I heard John, a senior level marketing executive, talk about his “chicken list.” I didn’t know what it was when he first mentioned it but as he described it I knew exactly what he was talking about.


The chicken list is the list of people who you are too afraid to call. For some reason they intimidate you. You put them off for days and weeks and months, and anything looks more appealing than calling someone from your chicken list.


There is no reason to be so intimidated, of course. But we all have people on our chicken list. I have mine, I bet you have yours. John says that we need to regularly call people on the chicken list. Regularly might mean one a week, or one a day.


That brings me to what one task I’d suggest you do once a month. It is not “call someone on your chicken list,” since I think you should do that more than once am month. Instead, it is this:


Revisit your chicken list. Analyze it, think about who you called and what the next steps are, and figure out who else should be on this list.


Do not let your chicken list own you – you need to own it. Work it, manage it, whittle it down, add people to it, but don’t be intimidated by it.

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