One of the realities we face when unemployed and searching for a job is the reality of disorganization. There are a few reasons why things go haywire:
- suddenly your schedule is not tied to the workplace
- it’s usually at least slightly depressing to be unemployed
- there’s a learning curve in the development of job-searching skills
- people tend to think that someone who “isn’t working” can do all sorts of errands, emergency babysitting, and projects
Disorganization has a way of growing and taking over, just like those expanding spaces in popular match-three games ooze into the board wherever they can unless you explode them all. How can you keep disorganization from taking over your job search?
- Make yourself a schedule and remind others that you have a commitment to searching for a job. It doesn’t have to be eight hours every weekday, but it’s a good idea to block out a good chunk of time to do what you need to do for your career and tell people you aren’t available during those times.
- Stay on top of paperwork. Keeping your resume files organized, having a home for job-hunting expense records, updating a resume with any part-time jobs or seminars you’ve attended, and making sure you are on top of all the details will not only make life easier now, it is a good skill for the future.
- Declutter. The last thing you need when unemployed is a pile of stuff that hasn’t been dealt with and is reminding you of failure every day. Even if you need to take a day every week to work on it, you’ll appreciate space to breathe. Some people find that instead of a “day to declutter,” a timer set for 15-30 minutes every day motivates them to move junk out of their lives.
- Take care of yourself! Get up in the morning and stretch, take walks, eat right, etc., etc., etc. If you are unhealthy, you don’t have the energy to deal with the real work of an organized job search.
- Educate yourself. Use the job search resources that others have found helpful and spend some disciplined time learning how to utilize this time to your advantage.