” Suddenly, you are back at work and realize that you didn’t accomplish half of what you had planned.” How true! The rigors of job search are magnified by the turmoil we experience: lack of self-confidence, humiliation, financial pressure, and the undercurrent of emotions that color all we do — fear, anger, depression, anxiety, loss. Have you ever noticed that you get more chores done when you’re busy? If time is limited, we squeeze in those extra demands because we know they have to get done by a deadline and we fear putting them off.There is an old adage that “Looking for a job is harder than working. If you are searching the classifieds, Sunday is the premium time to do it. The guilt, and the sense of “I should have, I should be” no longer exist and you are free, for a short time anyway, to do anything you want.
Now we generate our own pressure, magnified by guilt and self-reproach.
” For a few hours, a few days, we’ll just indulge ourselves and relax. We procrastinate, telling ourselves that when we are ready, it will just “flow. Use your low energy times for solitary, mundane tasks: researching companies and jobs, organizing your paperwork, planning your next day’s activities.
Agency visits, whether for temporary work or head hunting, can be relegated to the afternoons when employers are difficult to reach and already fatigued. Stress levels and blood pressure rise. You may be used to working 8 or more hours per day and think that is what you will now spend on job search. This creates the impetus to get you going the following day — you can hardly wait to get back PVC yoga mat to what you are working on. We need to update our resume, create some new cover letters, research some possible job openings. Try these ideas:
One practical step we can take to lower the stress and conserve our energy for finding work, not feeding our bloated worries, is to manage our time effectively.”
Adopting a reasonable schedule can avoid reaching this point. Analyze your own daily energy patterns and put them to work for you. It’s unfair. When time is unlimited, such as when you take a few days off work, there is no pressure to rush-”I’ve got four days, I’ll do it tomorrow.
Recognize that and limit your job hunting to fewer hours per day. Consciously focus your attention on relaxing: take a walk, read a book, throw a ball, watch television, whatever pleases you. If you rigorously limit your job hunt-related activities to 4 hours per day to start (you can always increase later), you may find yourself forced to stop before you are ready. Concentrate on not over-committing yourself. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
If you are networking or cold calling, concentrate on the morning weekday hours.
It is so hard to get started because we hate having to do it, we don’t feel creative or excited about the whole prospect, and we dread having to go through the horrors of interviewing. You will be able to relax because you know you completed exactly what you planned. We know we have things to do. When your “work time” is over, stop. When the end of the month arrives and we compare our diminishing bank balance to our multiplying bills, we mentally beat ourselves up for not having accomplished what we had so earnestly intended. Identify your priorities by looking at what day of the week is best for each kind of activity.
This lack of structure is magnified when you are unemployed. We feel resentful, angry, depressed.
Make sure that during your high energy periods you are “out there,” contacting people and presenting yourself. There is no pressure to get up, get dressed, get out of the house by a specific time. Take a day to do nothing but plan out what you are going to do, and when. Remember that adage: your hunt for work is a lot more difficult than simply walking into a familiar employer and pursuing your daily routine. “I didn’t ask to get into this situation.
The inevitable stress of unemployment and job search can never be totally eliminated, but managing your time and being gentle with yourself can turn a painful situation into simply an uncomfortable nuisance.