1) Break it down
Not as in MC Hammer moves, but if that helps, go for it!
The process is large and daunting. Where to begin? Well, at the beginning. Start with a self-evaluation or online assessment to keep things as objective (vs. emotionally driven or reactive) as possible.
You want to set yourself up for success, so make an effort to ensure that jobs to which you apply are relevant, of interest, mesh with your personality, fit within your requirements and meet most of your “desirable” components of a job.
2) Call in the troops
Ask for help.
I’ll say it again: ASK FOR HELP.
Why not? Your cousin could know a neighbor that has the best job that hasn’t even been posted yet. How do you know if you don’t ask? Why in the world do you want to make the process even more challenging?
Feel awkward asking for help? That’s okay. It’s really not “Hi. I’m unemployed. Whatcha got for me?” It’s more along the lines of perhaps having coffee with a previous colleague, neighbor or friend, sharing your story and stating you’d love to hear their suggestions regarding type of position, suggested companies and/or if they’d mind taking a look at your resume.
3) Stay organized
If you launch into a fierce job search, you need to make sure you keep up with the status of each position to which you’ve applied.
If you state you’re going to follow up with a recruiter (and you should) be sure to do so. If you’ve created a schedule outlining 3 information sessions/coffee talks with colleagues each week, why, that requires both planning and follow up. It can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time.
To stay organized, use what works best for you. Perhaps it’s an app, an online calendar or you prefer to rock the old school folder option (in my opinion, this is the most effective).
4) Do something fun
Bribing is so underrated.
Looking for a job will feel like a job.
Set yourself up for small rewards. Granted, probably your cash flow is a bit more limited, so I’m not saying take yourself out for a lobster dinner nightly. Perhaps it’s just giving yourself “me” time, a relaxing bath, a run at the park, taking your daughter to lunch, meeting up with a friend, reading a book, etc.
Still, if you look forward to it, it helps get you through the tedious parts (say, oh, completing yet another job application!).
5) Learn something new
If the job search process is occurring while you’re unemployed, perhaps you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands.
Now’s a great time to learn a new skill. Coursera.org and other sites have amazing free courses that are from our nation’s (and other countries, in fact) top schools. It’s an instant ego boost and conversation starter “So, yeah, I’m also taking this Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations course and thinking about enrolling in Penn State’s Creativity, Innovation and Change.
If courses aren’t of interest, what about a new sport or outside activity? If neither is of interest, perhaps consider volunteering.
Stay positive, proactive and professional. Easier said than done, absolutely.