This is part four of a seven-part series on the deadliest mistakes I see people making when changing careers.

This might not seem like an obvious mistake, but I’ve seen it over and over again.

You want a different job, so besides complaining to your friends, what’s the first thing you start doing?

You know it and so do I: We start looking for jobs online.

Now you might be thinking, “Hey, I’m taking action over here. Isn’t that a good thing?!”

Of course. Some action is better than no action. But scrolling for jobs online is largely a waste of time.

Here are three reasons why:

1. They’re random and impersonal.

Online job boards tend to generate a lot of applications. When you apply, you’re getting in a long line of other candidates.

It’s hard if not almost impossible to set yourself apart this way and it leaves your career largely up to chance.

2. That’s not where the jobs are located.

Most of the jobs are known “in-house” and circulate organically by word of mouth and informal networks.

This is why it’s much wiser to go with more of a grassroots approach to your job search by connecting with people you know.

3. It can lead to hours of wasted time.

Let’s be honest, we can’t control when the jobs are posted, we don’t know who we are competing against, and we usually won’t have a clue about the timeline.

With so much out of our control, looking for jobs online makes us feel like we’re doing something. But it’s quite likely that you’re wasting hours upon hours on job postings that haven’t been updated for weeks.

Rather than wasting another minute scrolling a job board, I recommend trying one of these tactics:

  • Email a few people you used to work with and ask to meet for lunch, coffee or happy hour to catch up. Use this time to ask about possible opportunities, advice, or possible people worth connecting with.

  • Make a list of 10 people you could ask for informational interviews to learn about their careers and companies.

  • Find three people on LinkedIn who have the job you want or work at an organization you’re interested in and ask for an introduction from one of your connections on the platform.