I’ve heard it a lot, and I say it a lot: If you are unemployed, you need to make looking for work your full-time job.
“Easier said than done” is a logical reply from many. After you’ve spent an hour or two browsing new job postings, tweaking resumes, and answering emails, what else should you do during the remaining hours of the day? Not to mention the rest of the week!
The advice is solid, nonetheless, especially in this time of rising unemployment and daily news about layoffs.
To beef up your search and maximize available hours, I recommend this fine article: “10 Ways to Make Job-Hunting Your Full-Time Job.” Here are two of the many tips from the article:
* Create a list of companies where you’d like to work. Use your connections to make contact with people who work at them. You don’t need to ask them directly for a job; just call them to “talk about what it’s like to work there,” says Leslie G. Griffen, a career coach and principal of The Griffen Group.
* Join a group — or several. Many job-hunters find meeting with other unemployed workers helpful for emotional and practical support. (For more, see these recent articles in the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle.) Attending professional association meetings can be even more beneficial, since you’ll meet people who are working in your field.
I am a big fan of getting involved in professional organizations — even by volunteering — as a surprising and valuable career booster. (Big shout out to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.)
A final tip I would add from my own experience: Set some daily or weekly goals. When I was unemployed after a layoff three years ago, I committed to sending out at least one resume per day in response to job openings that genuinely interested me (even if I had doubts about my qualifications or about the salary).
Even when I didn’t hear responses to the applications I sent, I felt a sense of progress knowing that I was meeting my goals and moving forward to the day I would land my next job. Meeting goals also gives you a reason to celebrate and feel better during this tough period.