A friend of mine shared this advice from a friend…thought it was great advice for 20-somethings looking for a job.
- Get up on time – Sarah leaves for work around 7AM which means my day would start at 7AM as well. Its good to keep your body on the schedule of a working adult. It’s also good to get in the habit of treating your job search like a job itself.
- Eat breakfast – I often found myself nearing lunch time realizing I hadn’t had anything to eat yet. I was feverishly scanning job boards but didn’t feed my body. Getting your system out of whack can really change how productive your brain will be.
- Get Dressed – Shower, shave, brush your teeth and get dressed at the same time of day you would have when you were working. Also, put on real clothes. Its tempting to stay in pajamas especially on cold winter days. However, putting on clothes that make you feel good can do wonders for your mood and make you feel professional.
- Leave the House – For nearly a year I didn’t leave our apartment. My world quickly shrank and days would go by where I never saw the sun. My energy levels dropped, my social life disappeared, and my mood darkened. Sarah would be the only person I’d speak to all day. You can see what this can do to a person’s outlook on life. Get yourself out and doing something. Its amazing what a stroll through the grocery store or Target can do for your mood during the day.
- Attend Industry Events – I was invited by my friend and fellow marketing professional, Kara Stewart, to a panel discussion about Search Engine Optimization. I didn’t land a job or get a ton of networking done at this event, but I was surrounded by the lingo and types of people I was familiar with in my professional life. It felt great to be around that again and it invigorated me. I waited far too long to get out and do this so please, go to an industry event when you have the opportunity.
- Stay Social – Your circle of friends and family will give you a much needed boost of confidence and energy. Sometimes, they may actually give you a job as well. I had a great part-time job opportunity available to me because of a family get-together and conversation. I also had friends across the country keeping their eyes and ears open for anything that I might be a good fit for.
- Keep a Schedule – At work, we’ve got meeting schedules, lunch appointments and conference calls. At home, schedule your meals, your shower, your different job searching activities, and your time outside of the house. Structure provides a feeling of security. With the financial and emotional pressures of being out of work weighing heavily, giving yourself a daily plan to follow will keep you organized.
- Do Something For Others – I wish I could remember the blog where I found this idea, and I promise I’ll link to it as soon as I think of it. At the industry event I mentioned in #5, a guy with a great blog for people who are out of work said that taking some time once a week to think about anyone but yourself is a great habit to keep. It takes you outside of your own head and focuses your attention on someone else. One suggestion was to help someone else who is out of work with their job search.
- Keep Your Cheap Hobbies – Unemployment isn’t a prison sentence, so you’re allowed to still have fun. Hobbies that don’t cost much, if any, money are a great way to relax your mind. Schedule these in after your “work day” of job searching is done. Hobbies give you some variety and are great for a quick escape.
- Take Care of Your Spouse – If you’re married, your spouse is supporting you in a huge way. The emotional drain of being unemployed isn’t limited to the person who got laid off. It effects both people with the same intensity, but in different ways. Remember, he or she is right there with you. They’re taking care of you, make sure to return the favor. If you’re single and going through this, my heart goes out to you. If you’ve got a family member or good friend to lean on, make sure to take care of them while they take care of you.
What did I miss? There is a lot of great advice out there and much of it came from my friends and family. Post in the comments about what you would recommend for a person who is out of work. How can they keep their life stable while they continue their search?