Alright now. Let’s say you’re a new grad with no work connections or you’ve recently been down-sized. Both situations suck. Both situations make it easy to slack off in your personal routine. Sleeping in late and partying all night; maybe forgoing exercise at the gym and just not holding yourself to a responsible routine tends to be the result. And why not? You might be depressed right now. You might be discouraged. Staying up late to watch your favourite shows or to go out and party gets your mind off your non-work.
It also makes you lazy, phat (yea I said it), and stupid. (I mean phat in a state of mind sense). It isn’t going to increase your odds of getting a job that’s for sure. It’s also bad for your mental and emotional health. Trust me. As a schoolteacher I have the option of sleeping in almost every day in the summer. Sounds like bliss? It’s not. I get lazy. My head pounds when my sleep cycle turns around on me. I feel phat. I get nothing done in the house. Keeping a routine keeps me productive. That’s one of the reasons why I volunteer in the summer. So I have a reason to get out of bed early and get on with the day.
And while you have all this time on your hands, here are a few things you should be doing to secure a job:
- Attend virtual and real job fairs and conventions.
- Watch webinars about increasing your odds of getting a job.
- Join meet-ups for new grads.
- Join meet-ups to network and meet people in the business sector. Avoid the networks that are really an excuse to party in the guise of swapping business cards.
- Form your own online support/networking group on a site and recruit people who are also seeking work.
- Get your profile updated on LinkedIn and check it daily (be careful about posting too much information….read my blog Don’t Put Your Resume on LinkedIn).
- Take classes in something you enjoy and haven’t had time to do.
- Take courses to improve your skills in your academic or professional area.
- Teach at a local college.
- Volunteer in the community where you can use your professional skills directly with the organization – don’t simply go without a job. Nothing looks worse on a resume than a big blank space under work experience.
- For a downsizer, consider a whole new career.
- Or consider asking for your old job back.
There’s another reason why you need a routine when you are job-hunting. The aforementioned suggestions (and there are many more online you can find) will help buoy your spirits. You feel good when you are active. You feel good when you are needed. You feel good when you make a contribution. It’s just good to be in contact with people, whether it’s virtual or in person.
When you have that feel-good aura, you come across as cheery rather than down, confident rather than desperate, and you demonstrate your innovative ways to stay involved and keep your skills fresh. If I was considering a new grad or an unemployed professional for my company, that’s the kind of person I’d want on my team. Not the person who can only stammer “well – I-I haven’t been working lately….” when I ask what she has been doing with her spare time while looking for work.