I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks around the house. Outside I’ve got a couple of gazebo shelters to take down, a garden to turn over, compost bins to empty, 6 rain barrels to empty and remove, and a lot of plants to pull out and remove. Then of course there’s the garden furniture to put away, a lot of garden lighting to remove and some lawn to over-seed and cut until the snow flies.
While it’s a list of chores some might see as work, to me it’s just something to look forward to. I know that by getting at it now, I won’t be caught by an early snowfall down the road, and all through the winter the compost bins will have room in them as I remove the best of the soil at the bottom. If I take good care now, none of my rain barrels will split with a surprise frost, and the two bird baths will not ice over and crack. All of this means next Spring, I won’t discover nasty surprises and have to run to the store and spend more money replacing items I didn’t bother to take care of over the winter.
A job search is much the same. Look at yourself and your own situation whether you are unemployed or not. Sure you’re either looking for work or comfortably employed, but are you thinking and planning ahead? Or do you just hope for the best and take no planned action to craft out your future?
Let’s look at those already employed first. Do you plan on doing your current job for the next 20, 10, 5, or 3 years? At what point might you see yourself interested in moving on, up or out of your current company? Perhaps some planning now and some action on your part will help prepare you for the future. This is especially true if you are one of those who doesn’t react well to change when it is forced on you. Take courses, join associations, volunteer on a Board, network with some people in companies that might interest you, keep your resume up-to-date. All of these steps will help prepare you for change when opportunities arise. Many people stop updating their resume when they get a job, and then have difficulty remembering courses they’ve taken and dates when they have to remember what they have done for the last seven years!
For the unemployed, it is important to keep to a structured job search. However, at the same time I would suggest you pay some attention to the things that do have to be attended to in your family and personal life. Allocate time to plaster over that nail pop, paint that bedroom, clean out the garage. All of these things might seem like a distraction from your job search. Really however, they can be extremely valuable in helping you focus more on the job search. You see, if you’ve got a desire to clean up the garage for example, but you put it off so you can job search continually, you’re going to hate seeing the inside of the garage daily as it reminds you of the task you’re ignoring. That will cause you to feel guilt. Now you have no job and guilt about the garage. So clean the garage for a day, get it out-of-the-way, feel like you have accomplished something with meaning to you – hey maybe even have a garage sale and make a few extra bucks into the bargain! Then you can concentrate more of the job search with renewed energy.
Life outside of employment still has to go on, and it will whether you pay attention to it or just allow it to happen. So if you have necessary things to do around your place, set aside some time and then get at them. So if like me, you have rain barrels to empty of water and you don’t do it, you’ll still be unemployed but now feel ticked off because you have to buy new ones in the Spring or do without. I know without my six rain barrels, I would have spent more money on water this past summer which was dry and hot. So a little preparation now is actually saving me money over time.
Of course the other thing is that family members who might be affected by your unemployment will also benefit from your actions. If that room that needed painting is your son or daughter’s room, they’ll appreciate you paying attention to their needs. Do it together, and you’ve created a bonding experience that will give you both some pleasure.
Hey by the way, NOW is the time to get into retail stores and apply for Christmas help positions. While the job might only last until the end of December, working will restore your dignity, give you some cash for the holiday season, raise your self-esteem and get you out of the house. The best day to apply for a job was yesterday; the second best day to apply for a job is today. Get going and all the very best!
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