If you have been reading past blogs, you’ll know that I’m quite interested in helping job-seekers and those attempting to get better jobs and promotions. Many of my blogs are written with a theme of getting on with the job search on a full-time basis. Some others are gentler, trying to comfort and support those who find it harder to get going at all.
Today though, I’d like to address what you could or might do on Sundays. Typically few employers do anything at all on this day of the week. While retail stores are open for business, there isn’t a great deal of hiring going, job offers being extended, or resumes being perused. Many senior Managers and HR people are off for the day entirely. Now while this means you’ve only 5 and possibly 6 days of the 7 to get a call about an interview, there is an upside.
The upside of course is that you yourself can relax, do things outside of the job search that bring you happiness, spend time with the family, do some chores around the house. In short, you have a day to recharge your internal batteries in order to keep yourself energized so you can throw yourself into the job search tomorrow on Monday in high gear. Maybe Sunday is the day you hit the gym before the rest of the family even wakes up, or you shuttle the kids around to hockey rinks, or go for a nice long walk in the snow all by yourself. What you do isn’t as important as making sure whatever it is brings you some physical or mental health break.
Doing anything all the time without a mental break is exhausting, and while it may be that you believe it’s what you should be doing when you are unemployed, taking this one day to do something different is beneficial in the long run. Now there’s something important to note here though. If you have a spouse, that person is naturally hoping you get a job sooner rather than later, and if they are employed, they may not see how hard you are working from Monday to Friday. Consequently, you might feel some pressure to look busy on Sunday and demonstrate your job searching effort.
Best to have a sit-down conversation with your spouse periodically and bring him or her up-to-date on how things are going, applications you’ve made, rejection letters you’ve received, and interviews you have lined up. By sharing this information on a regular basis, you keep your partner in the loop, and you’re less likely to feel additional pressure to look busy. What you want to avoid at all costs is finally unwinding on a Sunday to play a game with the kids and then have your partner yell at you to, “get busy and get a job!”. Where’d that come from?
Well you aren’t the only one under pressure. If you keep your job-searching private and don’t share what you do from day-to-day, your partner will only know what they see. That outburst may just be a release valve in their mental factory that just blew off some steam because they feel the pressure too; especially with Christmas bills about to arrive.
Your spouse, your kids, and most importantly you yourself all deserve a day where you can do things together that brings relief and unity to your family. If these are the lean times, look for free stuff you can do in your community. Public ice-skating on outdoor rinks, public swimming time sponsored by Tim Horton’s, building snowmen in the yard, walking the dog in the park, playing some board games around the table. All free things you can do and there are many more of course.
Even if you are single, take this day to do things that bring you personal happiness. When you are busy looking for work in the middle of the week, you’ve got a day to look forward to that’s coming up being Sunday. If you plan a little now, you might even find that something as simple as having a Sunday to look forward to gives you energy when you are feeling overwhelmed with the job search pressures. Looking forward to things can get you through the present.
Should you spend some time looking up a job bank or updating a resume on a Sunday, do so because you actually want to, not because you feel guilty. It may be that doing a bit on a Sunday actually is more enjoyable because you’ve got less pressure to perform, and you see yourself as doing something when other job-seekers are out relaxing; so this is your edge. Perhaps.
Just visualize one thing today: a tall glass filled with water that is tipped and emptying of the liquid. Unless it gets replenished, eventually all that water drains out, and the glass is empty. Now see that glass as a metaphor for your energy and enthusiasm for job searching. You’ve got to replenish your own reserves with things that bring you happiness and mental stability.
All the best today and every Sunday!