So, you are in between jobs or just graduated from school. Maybe you are on the job hunt for a full-time position or a better paying position. Regardless of your situation unemployment can be daunting. It can be tempting to sleep late or stay up having a fun night out or you might be up worrying about your current situation and the ramifications to your finances, career and general life. Needless to say, it is easy to get de-motivated. But believe it or not, there are better and more productive ways to spend your time. Below are some tips on how to make the most of each day.
Planning day: Use a Sunday afternoon or evening for about an hour or so to put a game plan or strategy for the week. It is important for you to still set goals and develop plans for yourself. For example, perhaps you only have a certain amount of savings or reserve funds that will last for a specific period of time. In the above situation your game plan needs to coincide with the timeline of you getting your job or know if you need to get a supplemental job while you are still searching for the ideal role. The more of a plan you have in place, the more successful you will be achieving your goal. Lay-out your week of items to accomplish, networking events to attend, people to connect with and readings to help keep you update on particular industry trends.
Plan out your days: If you do not have a planner it might be a good time to invest in one. This will allow you to be in line with your socializing, networking, working out, and job hunting. It will keep you in a routine because that is most important to keep your performance and self-esteem up.
Applying for jobs: Applying for jobs should occupy a large part of your day. Your ability to research niche job boards, specific companies, major job boards, and social media sites to see where unique job postings might crop up. To be more organized about your search it might be appropriate to assign certain job boards for certain days as this will increase your productivity and help you from feeling this is mundane or monotonous. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays might be spent looking over companies’ social media sites, while Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays involve searching on niche and major job boards. The more you plan and have a schedule in place the easier it will be for you to be productive and get noticed.
Research: Research the companies that sound interesting to you and might have openings in your field. If they do not have current jobs posted then you can sign up on their site to be notified of when jobs that align with your roles come available.
Resumes and Social Media: It is important to be sure you have your resumes ready to go. I would suggest having more than one resume template ready to go so you are prepared for multiple opportunities. For example, if you have an accounting and sales background, I would have a resume for various sales positions and an accounting position resume. LinkedIn is a great resource for when you are job hunting. However, it is very important that your resume is the same as your LinkedIn profile. When you are applying for jobs many time recruiters and hiring authorities might search for your profile on LinkedIn as well. Also, please keep in mind your other social media profiles. You want to be sure that your social media aka Facebook etc. reflect positively on your persona. You do not want to have inappropriate posts that would portray you in a way differently then your resume. Good rule of thumb if you are uncomfortable explaining anything on your social media profile to another person then don’t post it or make it private.
Exercise and Diet: It is important during this time that you continue exercising. For your lunch break take a bike ride around or go for a walk or jog. The sunshine will work wonders for your spirits and mood. Also, the break will make you more centered and productive when you come back to it. If you have kids, go visit them at school during lunch. It’s a great way to have some lunch, connect with your kiddo and get out of the house. There is no need to be a shut in and stare at the light of your computer day and night while the world is still going on outside. Proper diet is important for you to continue on the right track. Late night coffee or alcohol is not the best remedy for this time in your life as it will make you sluggish and effect your mood.
Networking: Networking is important to stay connected with the groups and events you were going to prior to your unemployment period. Reach out to contact you have in the industry. Set up lunch and coffee meetings to ask about your field, the best places to look for jobs, any recommendations they may have or openings in the industry that may not be common knowledge, etc. Be sure to follow-up with your contacts after these meetings to keep the connection going. Also, if you come across interesting articles that might be of interest or might trigger something you discussed in the lunch it might be a good way to re-connect and keep the connection going.
Socializing: It is important to stay in touch with friends and family. They might have a connection for you that could help you in the job hunt or might be a great resource for you. You do not want to be a shut in for a week and then you have a phone interview and sound like you have lost your best friend. When you have phone interviews it is very important to sound upbeat and engaged since they are not able to read your physical body language. There are other tips we can suggest for when you are interviewing but we will share that in another piece.
Volunteering: Volunteer work is a great thing to do all the time, but it can be helpful during this time because it helps keep things in perspective. Also, it will help you meet a lot of great people during your time off because you are connecting with people who value the same things you do. You can then connect with them on LinkedIn and see about furthering those connections.
Review your weekly plan: Each Sunday as you make your new plan for the upcoming week this is a great time aside from your daily plan, make a weekly goal list to chart the progress you want to make over any given week. During this whole process, it is important to keep on top of your plan and goals because that will greatly influence and impact your steps moving forward. Make sure you aren’t spending too much time on Facebook or watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls on TV. Compare your daily schedule and your weekly goal list side-by-side to confirm you’re using your time effectively. Check things off as you get them done; at the end of the day, those check marks will make you feel accomplished!
Stay Positive: It is important that during this time you stay positive and focus on the positive. It will help you when you are connecting with others.
Equipped with these tips and ideas be ready to spend your day in a whole new way! Make the most out of this time of unemployment and you will not stay that way for very long.
If MPG can be of assistance during this time please do not hesitate to reach out to one of us.