Stop watching Law & Order: SVU, put on your pants, and shave your face. You are in-between jobs not on an extended holiday. Just because you’re only seen by your dog does not mean that job-hunting from home is your time to slack off.The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that long-term unemployment (27 weeks and over) remains above 40 percent. The BLS also stated that the average length of unemployment hovers at more than 40 weeks. Probably not what you want to hear especially if you just left or lost your job.
Many days you will not network or have an interview. Most of your 40 weeks spent searching for your next opportunity will involve you, your desk, and your computer. Sorry to tell you but it’s a tedious cycle of researching opportunities and cyber-stalking hiring managers and potential colleagues to address your cover letters. It’s worse than all those years spent sitting in your cubicle next to that toxic colleague.
The temptations for distraction surround you now that your day-to-day routine has been disrupted. You need to keep to a schedule if you are going to beat-out the next candidate. Here are a few simple and effective ways to keep your mind focused on the task at hand day-in, day-out.
Don’t Sleep In
Keep your schedule. There’s no need to change your alarm since you still have a full day of job-hunting ahead. Hop in the shower to shake off the cobwebs from a good night’s sleep.
Don’t Grow a “Job Hunter” Beard
Continue to shave your face, wax your legs, or trim your eyebrows. You never know when you might bump in to a former colleague or future employer. Keep yourself groomed and ready to land your next job opportunity.
Don’t Become a Hermit
Step outside and grab the newspaper or a cup of coffee. If you look like an extra from “The Descent” you need some sun. It’ll help put a little hop in your step and boost your energy when you return to your desk.
Ditch the Robe
You’ll be surprised just how much wearing pants keeps you feeling more professional and focused than donning a robe or shorts. It’s about keeping your head from thinking you’re on vacation.
Keep your workspace tidy and free from distractions. Don’t let the newspapers pile up alongside your coffee mugs.
Don’t Skip Breakfast…or Lunch…or Dinner
Sure, we all worked hard at our last job, skipping lunch, downing energy drinks, and generally burning the candle at both ends. Well, now that you’re in between jobs you have time to clean the engine so to speak. Reboot your system by making time for healthy meals. You’ll have plenty of time to starve at your next job.
Don’t Miss an Appointment
Keep a calendar and update it regularly, just as you would at your job. Landing your next job takes planning and structure. Scheduling time for drafting cover letters, tweaking your resumé, and conducting online research prevents the day from slipping away.
Don’t Watch Shows That Start with “The Late…”
Even if you have a water cooler at home no one is there to share in that topical joke from the night before. Get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be the last one you spend unemployed.
What’s your job-hunting routine?