Why have a schedule for your job search?
Why have a schedule for your Job Search?
Most people are so shocked by a job loss that their whole lives are turned upside down. They suddenly can’t pay regular bills, they lose their work friends, and they change their sleeping hours. Some even quit dressing and lounge around in underwear or pajamas most of the day.
All of this extreme change is just a reaction—on the outside—representing the hurt, frustration, and chaos on the inside. That’s why I recommend that all my clients have a schedule of work and play for their job-less time. Here are some ideas you might want to implement.
Pace yourself in the job search. Even the best job search takes 90 days. So, give yourself at least a week or two to get your resume polished and your Target Job in mind.
Establish a schedule for your job-free days. Now is the time to spend extra time with your family. You can also use this time to get a project done at home, or learn a new business skill. You CAN’T look for a job 40 hours a week. First, it would drive you crazy, and second, there isn’t that much to do. Here’s a sample schedule:
Exercise, prayer, meditation, coffee
7:00 – 9:00 AM
Job Seeking on the computer
9:00 – 11:00 AM
Break for lunch with family
11:00 – 1:00 PM
Nap or home project
1:00 – 3:00 PM
Job Seeking, networking
3:00 – 5:00 PM
Anytime convenient for your contacts
Dinner and evening with family
5:00 – 10:00 PM
Focus more on people connections than job applications. Many job seekers keep score by the number of job applications they submit. Instead, keep track of the people you connect with, and how many NEW people are coming into your life. My book Empowered Networking gives you the techniques, the practices, and even the scripts for networking success. Virtually 80-90% of successful job leads come from networking conversations. The rest come from job boards.
Answer your phone! Recruiters love to talk to candidates. Almost always, the first contact is by telephone. Please, please, please answer all your phone calls, even if you suspect it’s SPAM. If it turns out that way, it’s just another number you can block. If it’s a recruiter, you’ll be so glad you answered!
Schedule yourself professionally. Hold a professional image. As much as you can, prevent phone calls with dogs, crying babies, or TV in the background. When you get a business call, go to your computer to check your schedule. Put off an appointment if you need time to research the company. Then, carefully record appointment details, just as you did when you were employed. It’s OK to get information about who will interview you. Ask for names, titles and emails. If you are scheduled for a Zoom, MS Teams or other online interview, be sure to get a back-up phone number, just in case the link doesn’t work.
Grieve your loss. Losing one’s income is the most demoralizing, embarrassing and hurtful thing that will ever happen to you. (Most feel that even divorce ranks lower on the hurt scale.) Allow yourself the time and energy to grieve this loss.
Try not to worry. That’s a pretty tall order, given the reality of the loss and your thoughts about what “might” happen to you. Instead of worrying, be extra vigilant with your finances. Tell creditors the truth about your situation. Work on side hustles that might bring in a few dollars. Know that this is all temporary, and you will be back in a full-time, salaried position again soon.
It’s great to have a partner to help you re-create your resume, LinkedIn and cover letters. That’s why so many job seekers take the plunge and invest in a Career Coach to work with them every step of the way.
If you would like a free, no-obligation phone consultation, just schedule yourself on my calendar.
On your side,
The Career Passion® Coach
PS: My schedule is wide open. If you’d like to discuss your career, you can schedule a no-obligation phone call by clicking this link.
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