If you are unemployed, or have ever been unemployed, then you have probably heard the saying, ”You have to treat finding a job like a full-time job.” You probably understand and agree, but may not know how to get started implementing that type of plan.
For most of your life, school, athletics, and work have supplied structure to your days. Now, maybe for the first time in your life you have found yourself without a routine to follow and you are not sure how to handle it. Here are some tips and tools to help you add some of that structure back into your day, make some real progress in your job search and take that next step in your career.
- Create a daily routine - Build your daily calendar around your new number one priority. There are lots of tools you can use, paper or electronic. Apps like Google Calendar and Cozi can help you organize your day along with everyone else in your home. A simple paper daily planner can also help you map out your day.
- Stay focused - By implementing a routine, you can start to eliminate some of the distractions that are keeping you from your goal and help you determine how you are spending your day. There are many apps that can help you track your computer activity and provide you with in-depth reporting.
- Shift the focus of your online job search - Spending hours each day on Indeed, Simply Hired and Monster can be maddening and can impact your self-esteem. Schedule a small window of time, 30 minutes for example, to see what new jobs have been posted (Twitter is a great tool too). Shift your focus and try to find people you know who work or used to work at that organization, people that could get your resume into the right hands. LinkedIn is the best place to start this task.
- Spend more time networking and less time online - Get out from behind your laptop and schedule coffee or lunch with someone in your network. Call an old colleague on the phone, reach out via email or message in LinkedIn.
- Break up your goals into smaller, specific measurable tasks - Instead of writing on your goal sheet “Improve LinkedIn Profile” break it into smaller measurable tasks with deadlines and give them each a home on your calendar.
a. Rewrite LinkedIn summary - Jan 21 – 10:00-10:30 am
b. Change LinkedIn photo - Jan 22 1:00-1:15 pm
c. Add 10 keywords to LinkedIn profile - Jan 23 10:00-10:30 am
- Keep a record of your activity - Do you know how many applications you completed last week? Do you remember how many times you sent out a cover letter stating “I’ll contact you next week to schedule a time”? Logging your activity is easy to do, will help you stay organized and will help your sense of accomplishment. Downloadable templates can help you get started.
- Plan and reflect - Take time to “plan the work and work the plan” then reflect on what worked well and what aspects need improvement. Contact your AthLife Advisor for a Lifelete Planner. This tool has been designed with you in mind and will help you implement all the strategies mentioned here and more.