Being unemployed is a frightening experience, especially if this is your first time since entering the working world.
Many people are finding themselves unemployed for extended periods of time, which can create financial hardship, stress, and relationship disaster.
Learning how to make the most of your job searching activities might help shorten the time you spend in the ranks of the unemployed.
Once you have registered for unemployment benefits, you need to make a plan of how you’re going to attack your current state of joblessness. Here is an example of what your plan could be like:
- Enroll in your state’s unemployment job search program
- Sign in every day and look for work
- Determine a schedule for searching newspaper classifieds, job boards online, and networking, and stick to it
- Send job applications or resumes to potential employers as soon as you learn of the opening
- Record all applications or résumé submittals in your unemployment benefits log
- Research your local job market to find out what companies or industries are growing
- Evaluate your own skills and experience against your local job market
- Seek ways to improve your skills to enhance your chances of landing a job
- Attend any job fairs, job-seeking clubs, or workshops offered that might help you find a job
- Sign up with any job matching services online
- Check job match alerts or emails daily and respond immediately
- Tap your network or friends, family, and professional colleagues regularly
- Follow up on any leads promptly
- Keep your resume and work history information up to date
- Have several versions of your resume prepared, each suited to the type of job you are seeking if you are looking in more than one field
This is only a sample, and you can probably add to it if you give it some thought. If you are a professional in a particular field like engineering or production control, you may have associations and chat boards that you can also access for help with job searches. Referrals and good references can be vital, so don’t be afraid to ask for them. They all want to hire the best talent, right?
It might take time to get into the swing of this. Treat being unemployed as a job. Self-discipline and commitment are the key qualities that can help you overcome this. Set a goal of how much time you are going to devote to job-hunting every day. Then sit down each day and put it the time, just as if it were your job to do so.
A routine such as this has many benefits. It helps take the monotony out day after day with nothing to do, a situation that for some, can lead to depression.
It also ensures you will be among the first to spot new opportunities when they arise, and don’t forget that there are so many jobs out there these days that let you easily earn $50k a year, even if you don’t hold a college degree!
If you skip days, others will see those opportunities first, and you may miss your chance.
Creating a routine, using your organizational skills, and staying focused will also help keep you sharp for when you get that phone call to come in for an interview. Make sure, however, that you research the company well ahead of your interview!