Despite tough days, there are ways to grow and stay hopeful.
Looking for work can be stressful and tiring, especially if you don’t have a plan. Handing out resumes and making cold calls can be hard on your self-confidence, but being strategic about your job hunt can re-invigorate you and give you the motivation to keep going. Here are 7 things you should try to do while you’re looking for work.
GET SOME PERSPECTIVE
No matter how you found yourself unemployed, you need to decide what to do next. Think deeply about your last job – what did you like about it? What didn’t you like? What do you want to get out of your next opportunity? And then think beyond your career: are you happy with your house, your city, your friends? If you’ve been itching to move to a new place, meet new people, or change your career, you have nothing but time in front of you, so you have nothing to lose by taking that chance.
FIGURE OUT YOUR FINANCES
You’re no longer employed, so take this as an opportunity to build financial habits: create a spreadsheet of your monthly spending, build a budget, or even just make a list of all your expenses. If you create the habits now, it will be much easier to pay off your debts and make your money last when you’re once again employed.
PLAN YOUR DAILY JOB SEARCH OBJECTIVES
In the job search, the ultimate goal is to land a job offer as soon as possible. But, you can break down this goal into manageable, everyday tasks. Today, for example, your objectives might be: preparing your resume and cover letter for an open position and identifying and researching 3 more companies of interest. After planning your objectives for the day, though, you must also take action. To ensure you do, setting a schedule helps.
Schedule as many interviews as you can. You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s still true. Your schedule is open, so if you can just find 30 minutes of the CEO’s time, you have a way to get in the door. It’s a great way to make connections, gauge your interest in potential careers, and meet someone who might lead to a job offer down the road.
SET NETWORKING GOALS
According to a survey, 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. Experts suggests that this is a key way to learning about new job opportunities and build long-lasting professional relationships. Daily networking goals can include emailing contacts, setting up lunch meetings and contacting friends about potential openings.
Unemployment is an excellent opportunity to get organized. Embark on some spring cleaning, go through old boxes, and get rid of the things you don’t need. Streamlining your life will help you dive head first into the next chapter, plus it helps you feel like your unemployed time is spent productively.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Technology is accelerating, creating a skills gap that makes some jobs hard to fill, research has found. It’s important to keep learning and growing. Review job descriptions and identify skills listed in the posts that you may need to work on. Show employers you’re taking the time to invest in yourself and your future.
While it’s important to keep yourself busy and motivated while unemployed, it’s also important to build in times of rest and relaxation. Looking for a job can be one of life’s most stressful events, so building in some time for self-care – like exercising and spending time with friends – can keep you sane during the process.
Losing your job is hard, and we all handle it in different ways. But by following the tips shared above, you’ll be well on your way to landing on your feet. And, you might end up finding a job that’s even better than the one you had before.