Searching for a job, whether voluntary or involuntary, takes a lot of time and energy. That is why it is important to use time and job search skills wisely.
Those who lose their job when a company goes out of business, merges with another firm, implements a reduction in force or for some other unexpected reason, will often find it difficult to get back on their feet because of the emotional blow such an act has on the ego; however, now is not the time to hide under the covers. Okay, maybe for one day.
Yes, it is important to grieve, rant and rave, and become angry about the situation. But then it’s time for job seekers, as the song goes, to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start all over again. Here are four important steps toward getting back on track to finding a new job.
Plan and Organize Each and Every Day
Here’s the thing: the only way to find a job is to actively look for one. That means organizing each day to reach job hunting goals. For job seekers this includes identifying how and where to look for employment, preparing a great cover letter and resume, going on interviews, attending a class or networking event, learning how to market themselves, or doing whatever it takes.
Sure it would be easier to lie around all day and watch television, but in order to find a new position job seekers have to be proactive. That means they need to advance their job search each day by committing to accomplishing at least one job-hunting goal.
Brush-up Old Job Skills and Add News Ones
While looking for a new position will likely take up a lot of time, it is important to keep job skills fresh. And this just might be the most opportune time to learn a new software program, take a much wanted class, or even brush-up on resume writing and interviewing skills.
While job seekers plan and organize their day, they should consider what skills employers most frequently request and be sure they have those skills. Look for free and relatively inexpensive skills training courses at community colleges, community-based organizations, and government sponsored services such as CareerOneStop.org.
Join a Career Search and Networking Group
Networking is always important to career advancement, whether someone is currently in a job seeking mode or planning for it in the future. That’s where career support and networking groups come in. Career support and networking groups offer practical and emotional support to people who are unemployed by providing encouragement, networking opportunities, and career support and guidance.
Networking groups include professional associations, alumni associations, as well as community-based career groups. For those interested in finding the best career support and networking group for them, check out The Riley Guide.
Gain New Work Experience
Remember Hurricanes Charley, Frances and a few others that blew through Florida and the East Coast the end of summer 2004? Because of the damage they did, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hired a large group of temporary customer service reps in a few areas around the U.S. for about a six month period to process the claims of those who were affected. It was long hours for good pay.
More recently, the U.S. Census Bureau was testing and hiring census takers for the 2010 census. They were offering part-time, temporary jobs for those interested in working evenings and weekends. The U.S. Post Office is another federal agency that frequently hires part-time and temporary workers. The idea is that these kinds of temporary employment opportunities are a great way to stay active, bring in a little income, and keep basic work skills fresh.
While temporary positions with the federal government aren’t readily available in every area of the country, temporary employment agencies are. And if temporary services don’t have the right positions available, consider working for a friend or doing volunteer work. Better yet, job seekers may want to consider taking a job outside of their comfort zone to test their skills and abilities and to learn something new thereby showing their flexibility.
The whole idea is that looking for work takes time and energy. And job seekers who are serious about finding the right position need to use their job search time and skills wisely.