Unbeknownst to many, not having a paying job doesn’t mean you don’t have a job. We all have faced periods of unemployment, whether it was our own decision or not is irrelevant, but it is guaranteed to happen at least once in our lives.
Rather than consider ourselves “unemployed,” we should realize that we are simply transitioning between jobs or careers. Until we can identify the one that best suits our needs, our new job is to… find a new job.
This means we still need to wake up in the morning (yes, early), we still need to dress for success, we will still be making phone calls, drinking coffee (not alcohol), exercising, networking, using social media, taking breaks and “going home” at a reasonable time.
In the job hunt there are a number of tasks to accomplish and skills to utilize/develop. Possibly the most important is time management – Failure to plan is planning to fail. Taking some time to create a daily/weekly schedule, even a rough draft, can make a huge difference in how successful our search is. It allows us to think about the important things we need to do and will help us stick to an agenda. It should force us to do some things we normally wouldn’t have done without considering and scheduling it ahead of time.
Everyone’s career hunt will be different, but this will help to identify and prioritize the necessary tasks to meet our personal needs. For example, a construction worker and an accountant will have different job searching methods, but the allotted time is essentially the same.
Some of the common tasks include:
- Resume creation
- Professional networking
- Social media cleanup
- Searching job boards
- Filling out applications
- Researching companies
- Job fairs
- Personal affairs
Here’s what an example agenda might look like:
You may download a blank version of the agenda example here: Blank Agenda
Notice how we don’t forget to take breaks and we allow time to attend to personal affairs. The great part about transitioning is that you get to set your own schedule that works with your life. This example is, however, only an example. Your own agenda may (and should) begin with applying for unemployment benefits as opposed to immediately jumping into the search. You may need to change the times from 9am-5pm to 6pm-2am – this all depends on your unique transition situation.
Scheduling an agenda like this allows us to strategically place tasks. For example, we’ve decided to network from 9am-12pm on Tuesday. As I re-blogged in an earlier post, we learned that 8am-12pm on a Tuesday is the best time to send an email, because this is the time that people most often check their emails. Use knowledge like this to your advantage.
Whatever your situation is, whatever you decide to do with your time, do not remain stagnant. If there’s something I learned from my time in the military, it’s that we must always do something. Scheduling an agenda ahead of time and sticking to it is a sure-fire way to ensure we keep on track with our transitioning goals.
Written by: Travis Rice