Living While Job Hunting
Episode #8 of the course Conducting an effective job search by Denise C. Allen
After a few weeks or months of searching for a new position, the activity can take a toll on you. It’s stressful and uncertain but it’s necessary. So, consider the tips in this lesson to help you balance life while keeping focused on the search.
The first thing to remember is that planning is your key to surviving the job hunt. You have a life, maybe a family to manage, chores, obligations, and maybe a full- or part-time job. Oh, and you’d like to relax and enjoy yourself sometimes. How can you fit a job hunt in your life? Or rather, how can you fit in all of life’s hustle and bustle while searching for a job? It’s not always easy, but careful planning and scheduling makes the job search much more manageable.
The job hunt is different for people with jobs and for those who are unemployed. If you’re unemployed, you have more time to do the needed tasks, but you may not have the finances needed to keep you going. Plus, not having a job creates stress. If you have a job, it’s more difficult to find time outside of work to job hunt. The stress of managing work and the search simultaneously is just as great. Take the tips in this section to create a better balance.
Tip #1: Allocate a weekly amount of time to job hunting.
Decide how many hours each week you will spend on the job search. If you are unemployed and treating this as your job, 40 hours per week makes sense. If you work, determine how many hours per week you think you need to find and land opportunities, balanced with your current work schedule.
Tip #2: Put it on your calendar.
Whether you schedule on a computer, tablet, phone, or paper, plot out what you plan to do each week. This includes planning the days to prepare your documents, search for openings, and apply. It also includes visits to job fairs, workshops, networking events, and most other activities related to the search. These activities become your appointments to do work, just as you would for your employment.
Tip #3: Schedule time for all your personal responsibilities and activities.
If you’re looking for a job and the rest of your life is falling apart, that won’t work for you in the long run. By keeping everything scheduled and organized each week, you won’t worry about having enough time—it’s already worked out in your plan.
Tip #4: Take time to relax and do activities you enjoy.
During your job search, have fun activities planned so you don’t burn out too quickly. Go to a Saturday night concert. Don’t skip out on bowling night with friends. Take long, hot soaks in the tub. Whatever you like to do, take the time to enjoy yourself for an evening or afternoon so you are refreshed when you begin your work again.
Tip #5: Practice healthy habits.
A job search takes energy. Energy comes from good habits. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, don’t skip meals, and get at least seven hours of sleep per night. If you are feeling ill, get medical care and extra rest as needed. Some people practice activities such as meditation or yoga to relieve stress. If you feel your best, you’re prepared to do the most effective job search.
Without proper planning during your job search, it’s too easy to let time slide by and avoid the less exciting tasks. By planning, scheduling, relaxing, and practicing healthy habits, you will set yourself up for success. One measure of success is getting an interview, and that’s part of the Lesson 9 discussion.
60 Seconds and You’re Hired! by Robin Ryan
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