When we are working full-time, most of us have a schedule of some kind. There are specific routines that are pre-determined by meetings, due dates, deliverables, and the like. However, when an unemployed jobseeker begins the process of looking for a new job, their routines and schedules have to be established. Perhaps the hardest part for many people is that they have to manage every aspect of their schedule. Structure is no longer built into their workweek.

Most of us have heard people say, “If you are unemployed, finding employment is your full-time job.” That’s true. But what are the activities that encompass finding a job, and how should jobseekers determine the routines that will help them find work?

Finding a schedule that works is difficult and there is a process involved in setting it up as you balance other responsibilities with your job search.

Realize that this process could take much longer than you ever thought possible. Consider how you spend each day and make decisions about each expenditure. Ask the question, “If this takes more than a year longer than I anticipate, will I have any regrets about how I’m spending my time today? Will I have any regrets about how I’ve managed my financial resources?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Talk to family and others who may feel you should be taking on additional responsibilities. That may be true, but ask them to respect your commitment to your employment plan and balance their needs with your plan. Consider the blog: Talking about unemployment….with friends and family.
  2. Continue to get up at the same time each day – as if you had to arrive at work.
  3. Exercise early in your day. It sets a framework of accomplishment.
  4. Plan your week at least a day or two ahead of time, so when you get up, you know what is on your agenda.
  5. Although your schedule should be flexible, ensure that you accomplish all your goals for the week.
  6. Enjoy time off for the weekend knowing you have completed your due-diligence regarding your job search.
    Finding a job is like a marathon. Pace yourself for the long run.

Here are the basic elements of your weekly routine.

Job Seekers Weekly To-Do List
10 hours Complete three to five well crafted, customized applications for jobs that are a good fit.
6 hours Three to five quality networking interactions.
4 hours Industry research, identify potential possibilities and new ways in which to use your skills, research companies that might be hiring, etc.
5-8 hours Research and contribute to your industry to stay informed and active. (LinkedIn Groups and Answers should be a part of this.)
5-8 hours Learn new skills or acquire certifications that can help in your future employment.
5-8 hours Meaningful volunteer work. (This means work that uses your skills and can fill the gap in the Experience section of your résumé.
5-8 hours Meet with your accountability partner to review the week and strategize the week to come.
Total weekly commitment: 40-50 hours.

Are you getting interviews from your job postings? If not The Forward Motion Differentiation Workshop can change that.
Are you getting contracts from your interviews?

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