Job Search: Monday Makeover
About three years ago 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 8AM - 5/6 PM are the moments full of hope. On Fridays, hope starts at 8AM 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 M-F 8AM-5:30PM and once that time slot is done, chances for a follow-up email 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. Everyday 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.
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 in late and hang out longer with your friends. An early morning wake up will keep set the tone for you to wake up early and be productive. Unemployment and waking up in the afternoon and sometimes even 3PM drains positive energy from you.
- 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 consolidate, finding those rare sites helps reduce job competition and allow 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 work week.
- 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 courses online, 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.
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.