Job Search: Monday Makeover
Between 2012 and 2013 I spent close to eight months being unemployed. As challenging as it was dealing with "no" week after week, the worst part for me was the start of the weekend. When you're looking for work, Monday through Thursday 8 AM - 5/6 PM are the moments full of hope. On Fridays, hope starts at 8 AM then dies down around noon. The business world is booming, employers are posting jobs, and actively replying to emails. Once Friday afternoon hits, a small wave of depression always kicks in. Another week completed with no job offer and now two days are upcoming where you'll sit idly by with little to no professional communication.
Normal business hours are Monday through Friday 8 AM-5: 30 PM and once that time slot is done, chances for a follow-up email or phone call decrease. Most work tends to slow down post-lunch on Friday, and once noon passes so does hope. When you're unemployed, weekends are irrelevant. Every day blends into the next, with the exception of television programming and that hope of receiving a phone call or email follow-up.
Job searching in itself is a job, so when you've used up all your resources during the week, on the weekend your desire to do anything dwindles. But on Monday, life restarts and although people with jobs hate Monday, if you're unemployed, Monday becomes the oasis in the desert.
Monday Makeover For Job Searching
Here are some tips to get a great head start into the next "work" week on Monday:
Wake up earlier: Forget about getting the worm, there will be more later on. But one of the biggest wrenches into a productive week is the weekend. You tend to sleep late and hang out longer with your friends. An early morning Monday wake up will keep setting the tone for you to wake up early and be productive. If you're waking up after 10 p.m. there could be potential phone calls and new job postings you're missing out on. Unemployment and waking up too late in the day drains the positive energy you'll need to stay motivated and focused.
Redo your resume: So you spent five days sending out your resume and no one reached out to you. Maybe your resume needs a little touch-up. There's no need to do anything drastic, just reread it and change the language a bit. You've grown as a person since last week, let your resume always reflect your new way of thinking and your constant progress.
Find new resources: There are hundreds of job search engines available. Although a lot of them have been consolidated, finding those rare sites that allow you to find the roles you need or that don't have too much buzz helps reduce job competition and allows you to stand out a bit more. Find two or three new sites, set up email alerts for a specific search and increase your hiring potential.
Send follow-up emails: Depending on how you initially reached out to prospective employers, think about sending a follow-up email first thing in the morning. Whether you decide to forward your original email with a quick reminder to get an update, or you had a direct connection with someone and need to follow up from an interview, be the first thing a hiring manager sees when they start their workweek.
Set out goals: Being unemployed means you're your own boss, so treat yourself like any boss would. Give yourself projects, goals, and deadlines. Whether you take some free online courses, read, paint, or create music, give yourself productive work that isn't in the field of job search. It will rest your brain but keep you sharp for your transition back into the workplace.
Consider freelance/contract work: What skills do you have outside of the work you've done in the past? What are some hobbies or interests of yours that you've never made time for? Being unemployed is the time to invest in yourself. Start writing, designing, painting, crafting, etc. Anything you know you're good at can easily open up freelance opportunities and put some extra money in your pockets. This also allows you to open up to a bigger job pool and connect with more hiring managers. It may not be a traditional job, but it can lead to a new role for yourself down the line. I started an internship in 2013 as a writer, and I've been successfully freelancing ever since and have added more roles under my belt. I edit, manage, and took my retail work history and became a contract operations manager (still working from home).
Leverage yourself: After you go through your rounds of emails and new applications, and have started to invest in skills and hobbies, leverage your talent and desires by investing in yourself. If I ever become unemployed again, I'll focus on finishing my memoir. Point is, it's never too late to start new, and what you start now can quickly transition into building your own success. Maybe you find social media notoriety and can start your own successful blog or eCommerce store. There are endless possibilities to connect and make money for yourself. Take a listen to episode 11 of the Pulse podcast to learn more about leveraging yourself.
The number one rule for job searching is patience. Every "no" you hear, eventually becomes the one "yes" that you need. Keep busy, stay productive, and remember to reinvent yourself every Monday until you find what you truly need or until you make what you need for yourself.
Still feeling unsure about what your next career steps are? Contact me today for a free 30-minute Life Coach session to get the next stage of your career started.