Finding employment can be tough, many people have been out of work at one point in their lives, but that doesn’t mean that you have to get down on yourself. Losing your job can be crushing, you have to deal with the loss of income, health insurance and the pain of rejection. If you find a job quickly those feelings soon pass, but if your job search drags out it can leave you strained. The hardest part of being out of work for a long period of time is keeping that positive attitude, especially when the job search turns into months and years. You have to keep a positive attitude for your own sanity and to make a good impression with potential employment opportunities. Here are some helpful ideas for those job search warriors out there trying to keep their chin up.
Find something to do with your time, being a job hunting warrior isn’t about making the quick easy kill, if you want to have a good job that you will enjoy, then you need to do something that will occupy your time while you hunt. A hobby like an eBay store is a great way to expand your skills while still earning some money.
Take some time and do the things you would not normally be able to do. Spend some time with your kids or take a trip that you’ve always wanted (if you have the money).
Help out with the household chores. Just do something that will take your mind off of the hunt and recharge your batteries long enough for you to regain focus. You have to be mentally and physically prepared if you’re going to get back into the swing of things.
Learn a new skill. Take up sewing or start playing badminton, anything you can do to relieve the stress of looking for a job. Pacing yourself for the job hunt is important because you can burn out by focusing all of your energy into that one thing.
Update your resume. There’s no time like the present to start developing a new resume, now you can put some of those new skills that you’ve acquired on that and showcase what you’ve learned during your job hunt. A job hunting support group isn’t a bad idea either. There you can share your experience with other people and do some networking while you’re at it. These groups are here to help people, so take advantage of the opportunities you have.
Enjoy your day. Most wary warriors like to focus their job search efforts during the day when most people are at work but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all your day looking for work. Take a second to go outside and enjoy the air or read a book that you’ve always wanted to. Just do what you can to recharge during this down period because you’ll need it once the night job hunt is on.
Job Hunting on the Sly – Finding a Way Out of That Dead-end Job
Despite what you tell your colleagues, you’ve looked online for work while at work. It doesn’t matter if you say it’s only happened during your lunch break, sure thing, or you admit to taking an entire morning to peruse the job market. Everyone has killed some time looking for that dream job, while your current one takes a back seat. No one is here to judge you. Instead, why not find some ways to make your job hunt easier? After all it’s your life and if you find a way to make it better, why not leap at that chance? If you’ve ever looked for a job while at work, it’s probably not the smartest move you can make. You don’t have to be an Einsteinian genius to know that looking for work while on the job is a bad move. But, people do it a lot and employers are not oblivious to it. The key is being able to look for a job and keep it on the down low. You don’t want some work place colleague to go back and spill the beans to HR or your boss. What are some things you can do to continue your job hunting without getting the hook from your boss? Maintaining productivity One of the earliest signs of a distracted employee is loss of productivity.Excessive job hunting on the clock can kill productivity and make managers look for replacements before you’ve even found your new job. Managers can monitor computer habits so make sure that your job search stays within an appropriate amount of time. You don’t want to get fired and your work computer is one hundred percent the property of your employer, so be careful when looking for another gig. Examining repercussions Even if you do your search at home, make sure you’re using your personal computer. If you use a work related computer, there could be active monitoring software installed, which is completely up to the company. Make sure that nothing you do can be traced back to you. And always remember that US companies have the right to fire an employee for any reason. If they are not just, then why should you be? There are plenty of opportunities out there and all it takes is you applying yourself to get them. When is it appropriate? Even if you’re browsing out of casual curiosity, it can send the message that you’re ready to leave your current job. About the only time it is acceptable to look for work while at work is in the event that you have all ready been terminated and you need the time to look for another job. Employees can spend some time job hunting if they’ve already received a notice saying they will be laid off, just don’t abuse the situation. Know the laws in your state and always have a way to fight your employer.
Editors Note: Kristi Musgrave is a colleague and friend of mine, as well as today’s Guest Blogger. She has oodles of management experience as well as interesting stories to share. Enjoy!
“I’m laid off?”
I couldn’t believe it. I had worked for a large biopharmaceutical manufacturer for six years. I loved my job. I worked up from a temporary employee in the Microbiology Lab to the Laboratory Supervisor, and ultimately the Quality Operations Manager. During that time the plant had developed into a very successful manufacturing operation. But now we were closing. I understood the financial reasons behind the decision but it was a shock. Now I had a decision to make, do I stay with the company and transfer to one of the other facilities or do I end up laid off? I was laid off and it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.
Being laid off was the beginning of completely different part of my life. It gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and career goals. As a result, my husband I simplified parts of our lives and learned to live with less, I added a new job title “Mom”, and I changed careers.
Just like most major events in our lives this was a learning experience for me. I learned about different resources I never knew about, programs for free training, extended unemployment benefits, and free career counseling.I even learned that I could happily live without some of the extras I had become use to.
So, what did I specifically do to make this a successful transition? Here are a few things to consider doing after being laid off:
Take advantages of all unemployment benefits available – In addition to the standard number of weeks of unemployment pay, some states offer extended paid benefits in certain circumstance. There are also state funded programs for free training. Displaced workers who qualify for the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) program can receive a variety of benefits and services, including job training, income support, job search and relocation allowances, a tax credit to help pay the costs of health insurance, and a wage supplement to certain reemployed trade-affected workers 50 years of age and older. That is just one example of the many programs available.
Evaluate your career goals – This might be something done informally while sitting on the coach at home or more structured with a career counselor. I was able to participate in free career counseling through a local university. Students attempting to complete their master’s degree in counseling are required to complete a number of hours of supervised work prior to finishing their program. I was able to meet with a counselor one on one and discuss my situation. I had access to different career aptitude tests and personality inventories that helped me to better understand what I wanted out of a career and offered career suggestions.
Streamline your life – Once we found out about the layoff we looked for ways to eliminate all the unnecessary extras that slowly drained money from our budget. We cancelled our satellite service. Since we live in the “country” this meant no television. This is something we talked about doing but just didn’t have the guts to do it. We also eliminated home phone service since we both already had cell phones. We cut grocery bills, drove the more fuel efficient vehicle instead of the newer less efficient one, and opted for home cooked meals instead of carry out. We looked for ways to make ourselves less dependent on two full time incomes.
Look for nontraditional opportunities – In addition to looking for jobs similar to the one I had, I looked for jobs with alternate work arrangements, flexible schedules, and home based opportunities. I even identified several jobs that I could do where the combined income would be similar to what I made before.
Being laid off can be difficult, but it can also be a time for reevaluating what’s important to you and making some changes in your life and career. For me the end result is a job that I enjoy and more time doing the things that I love.