Career advisors will tell to treat your job search like a real job, but that's easier said than done.
When you work, someone else makes your schedule. You are accountable to a manager. Your job duties are easy and you know them like the back of your hand. When you are unemployed, your boss is you. Or maybe it's your spouse who keeps harping on you to get a job.
Either way, here are some specific ways you can make your job search into a full-time job.
- Make lists. Write down the five key things you need to do--every day--and check them off your list. Nothing feels like an accomplishment more than a completed "to do" list.
- Don't spend all day on a computer. Use your local library as your headquarters. Go there at the same time every day and use the free computers. Check for jobs on sites like SnagAJob.com, read your local paper online and stay focused. Check your email, search for job fairs and submit resumes. Then go talk to real people and network.
- Keep a calendar. Now that you're unemployed, your family may think you have nothing but free time on your hands. Keep a calendar so you can fill your time with job-related tasks instead of “honey do” chores. Google and Yahoo have free tools that will link to your email account. Block out time for networking and meeting new people. Stay busy while you're unemployed and people won't try to find things for you to do.
- Do something physical every day. Movement is important for your brain, your self-esteem and your health. You don't earn money when you are sick and unemployed. Feeling tired and achy? Try walking. Go to the park, go to the mall, or get on that old treadmill in your garage. Walk every day at the same time so it becomes a healthy, productive habit.
Looking for a job is absolutely a full-time job. The better you are at using your time wisely, the faster you will find a new role. The keys to success are in your hand. Stay focused, stay organized and stay healthy, and you will be on your way to full-time employment.