Monday, September 10, 2007

Un-unemployment by Lunchtime (Goal setting and job hunting)

Lately I've had multiple friends (and myself) experience some job losses. I've heard the average lifespan of a job is three years, so it is likely at any one time there will be someone you know that is unemployed. I decided to share what worked for me to change that.

When you first lose your job, it's like someone kicked you in the head. You don't feel like doing ANYTHING. Take it easy for a day, or two, or maybe even three. Before you start that, decide how many days you are going to just take it easy. Write it on your calendar and stick to it! You may also want to take one of these days and take care of the stuff you didn't have time to do when you were working a job.

One of the top things on the list of stuff to do: file for unemployment if you are eligible. Don't treat the unemployment like welfare. Treat it like the government is paying you to do the best job you can of finding another job.

Two things to keep in mind as you look for a job: everyone who finds out you are unemployed is going to have their idea of how you should spend your time. YOU DECIDE what the best use of your time is. Also, momentum is powerful. Make sure it is on your side. If you sit there and do nothing after the date your wrote to start job hunting, you will not feel like doing anything.

Day 1 of your job hunt should be writing your resume. Have one main "template" resume and then modify it to fit each job you apply for.

Now, decide how fast you want to get a new job. The faster you go, the more momentum is on your side. I shot for applying for two jobs or go to one job interview a day. If you think you have all day to apply for two jobs, you will most likely end up applying for a couple dumpy jobs online just before you head for bed (if you do it at all). The secret I've found: if there's something you really want done, make it a goal to get it done by lunch.

So, apply for two jobs by lunch, then eat lunch, then do something fun for a bit. After that if there's something else you need to get done for the day, try to get it done by supper. Then you can enjoy your evening with friends and/or family.

The wonderful thing about the "Do it by lunchtime" principal: it can apply to almost anything that would want to do that can be done in a few hours. Repeat until your goal is accomplished.

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