Some career counselors advise job seekers who are unemployed to consider their job search a full time job. But, I’m not among them.
Being unemployed provides an opportunity to regroup in finding a new job, but it can also allow for a needed balance to your life.
If you are like most people, you spend a significant amount of time, attention and energy on work-related matters to the neglect of other important areas of your life.
A life out of balance can weigh heavily and create stress and anxiety for anyone. It’s difficult to shift a cycle of imbalance while external demands remain the same or are increasing. That’s why a planned, or unplanned break from work can be useful in making a “correction” in how you live your life and act on your priorities.
Here are some tips on how to stay focused on your job transition and shift the balance in your life:
- Get clear about what is important in your life. Make a short list of actions you can take in the next week to create a better balance between your priorities and your actions.
- In regards to your job search…First, identify what you bring to the marketplace in terms of skills, experience and education/training that relate to what you desire.
- Establish a set of criteria for what you’d like in your next position. Don’t assume you cannot have or find a job that meets your desires. You can always compromise later on in the process.
- Begin to investigate possibilities through informational interviews. You do not need to target a job title. Check out a range of options that might meet your criteria.
- Make sure that your supporting documents (resume, cover letter template, list of references, writing samples, if appropriate) are up to date, error-free and have been proofed by someone other than you.
- Create a “contact card” that has your name, phone and email address, so you can give it out at networking functions.
- Set weekly goals for what you want to accomplish in your job search. That way, you can feel you’re getting somewhere, even when there is no offer in sight.
- Spend a minimum amount of time researching on line job postings. Research consistently shows that networking and putting the word out to friends, colleagues and family is the most effective way to learn about jobs.
- Connect with professional association members for the positions in which you’re interested. Attend meetings as a guest if you are not a member.
- Make time for activities that help you manage the stress that comes with any job search. Ask for help and support when you feel down, stuck or discouraged.