Interesting how so many working people look forward to Friday. It’s the last day of the traditional work week and signals the start of the weekend. Depending on your attitude, it’s the signal to begin party-time, time with family, time for a rest, time to kick back and relax or time to put your plans into action with friends. No matter how you spend it, it’s a break from your Monday to Friday routine of work.
For someone seeking a job, it can be quite a different response as Friday at 5:00 o’clock rolls around. It can sometimes mean another week with no response to job applications, and another weekend of not being able to do things with friends because your short on money. In other words, that high that employed people feel is actually another low for someone out of work. If you recognize your own response to Friday here, maybe I can give you another way to look at things.
Look at Friday around 5 o’clock as the start of a small rewarding rest period from your intensive job search week. If you are job searching on a full-time basis, it can be equally or more mentally draining than having a job. I mean when you have a job all of your 5 day energy is going in the same direction. As an unemployed person, you don’t know who your next employer will be, so instead of learning the ins and outs of one company, the unemployed person is researching many companies, trying to understand multiple job descriptions, and envisioning working in many organizations. Give yourself the traditional Saturday and Sunday break to enjoy as best you can doing things other than job searching, and getting mentally and physically ready for the following week.
Friday is also a really good day to take stock of your activities for the week. If you’ve had a successful week in terms of number of jobs applied to, congratulate yourself on your efforts. If it was a poor week in which you really accomplished very little, then make this past week the exception rather than the rule. If you can, commit to making next week a better one, and determine to start out on Monday with renewed effort. Not much use feeling sorry for yourself over a lost week in which you did nothing. Sure it might have been better if you had done more but you can’t change the past. Move on. It’s your response to what is your current situation that is important.
I’d suggest if I may that you connect with family or friends, doing something that is low-cost or free. Use the internet to look up free things to do in your community, drop into your local Chamber of Commerce and see if they have an event listing, or listen to your local radio station. Local radio stations frequently broadcast local events. Rather than isolating yourself from people, this is a time more than ever when staying connected to others is essential, and not just to get a job lead. When you stay or get involved, you’ll stop focusing every waking second on your situation, you’ll laugh more, you’ll talk about things other than yourself, and if someone sincerely asks how it’s going, yes maybe you can share some of your frustrations and unburden just a little. This is healthy.
Consider too that a traditionally employed person sometimes starts dreading Monday on a Sunday evening. You should on the other hand look forward to your Monday. It’s a chance to build on last weeks momentum, or a fresh start to really kick your job search into a higher gear. Rather than wondering what new disappointments await you this week, remind yourself that this coming week may mean new job postings, new chances to network, maybe even an interview is in the cards. That unknown positive event might present itself on Wednesday or Thursday, who knows?
Look objectively at your past week on a Friday if you want, and try to determine where you had success, what you did that really felt good with respect to your job search. Was it applying for a job you really hope you get? Maybe it was getting up the nerve to actually pick up the telephone and make a cold call to an employer. If it turned out to be a good call then great. If on the other hand it got you nowhere, give yourself credit for at least picking up the phone. Cold calls are hard to do for some folks. Friday is also a good day to figure out in advance what job applications you want to follow-up on next week.
Today many people work on Saturday and Sunday on a regular basis. Their days off might be Tuesdays and Wednesdays or some other combination. Many trades people and those in Retail are working extended hours. That idea you have that everybody in the world is frolicking around at party central on the weekend while you’re the only one in the world who isn’t invited is just not reality. Cheer yourself up with a good read, play with your children, get out for a walk or a run, go window-shopping downtown, or do some writing, some painting; whatever it is that will be enjoyable for you. You’ve earned a mental break. Saturday and Sunday were meant for you too to enjoy.