I’ve said it before and so has just about everyone who has ever had to look for a job; job searching can be very tiring both physically and mentally. And doesn’t it seem that if you do a full-time job search without much to show for it in the way of interviews that you get discouraged or run down? And if you don’t go at it full-time for some reason, doesn’t the time you decide to get going on it make the time you’ve lost seem unproductive?
Okay so it can be exhausting to expel all this energy in a job search. Whether you use the metaphor of recharging your batteries, or filling up a depleted container, the bottom line here is that in order to move forward with real momentum and energy, you have to ensure your physically and mentally up for whatever lies ahead.
I want to share then some ideas for recharging your batteries while still spending your time productively and finding enjoyment in the process. And here’s some good news; in addition to having some fun, doing a few things that are not usually part of a standard job search policy, you can still derive some real benefit to the actual job search.
For starters, think about going to a local Home and Cottage show, RV or Boat Show, or Interior Design show. All those exhibitors are just people like you pitching their products, talking up the benefits of their skills etc. In short, those are all applicants hoping to work for you – a potential employer. Look and listen to who makes a strong impact on you. Think about how they are dressed, the words they use, the message they communicate. Consider who is effective and who isn’t when it comes to selling themself. Then think about yourself and what would work for you that works for them? Another benefit of checking out these shows is that you may eye an item that becomes a long-term goal. How much money would you need to acquire it? How will you budget? etc. This may motivate you, and if nothing else, you get out of the house.
Get out in the sunshine no matter the time of year and soak up some Vitamin D in the process. Ever heard of those happy people who are referred to as having a ‘sunny disposition’? Getting out for a stroll or run is physically healthy, free and maybe you get to know your neighbours, see what’s going up in a new development or maybe even spy a new, “Help Wanted” sign in a window. But your real reason in getting out is to get some fresh air, clear your head, connect with the world around you and counter your isolation.
Even though you can watch movies on television from the comfort of your sofa, budget if you can a trip to a local theatre and watch a movie on the big screen. For at least a couple of hours, you’ll mentally escape your doldrums and have some emotional connection or reaction that’s good for your imagination. Comedies are especially good for the release of stress and movies with quests are good analogies for overcoming odds and being inspired.
Grab a few slices of stale bread, put them in a bag and head on over to a park or pond area and feed some ducks or birds. While it may not mean your ready to join a Wildlife Society, you’ll be outside taking in that sun and fresh air, and again might divert some time just feeding the ducks but come back to your home with some new energy or maybe having worked through a problem or barrier and can now move forward. The mind does that every so often; you have a mental block, take a break and then what you couldn’t remember or see past suddenly is behind you as you think of a solution.
If you can afford it, buy a ticket and see a live band, comedian, orchestra, dance company or stage performer. You’ll be part of the audience, and being part of something is what unemployed people crave. At intermission look around you and feel the energy, clap or sing along to songs you know and love, throw up your hand to be the magicians volunteer assistant and feel your adrenalin rush as you smash out of your comfort zone. Your building a memory to look back on and laugh about.
Head on down to a museum, an art gallery, have lunch on an outdoor patio even if it is a salad and a glass of water, take out a free book at the library, volunteer once a week at a food bank, look for days in your community when there are free swims or skating at the local Community Centre. And if you are hooked on your computer, do something slightly different from just 100% job searching stuff. Set aside half an hour a day to request a song on the radio station you love, maybe even phone in and win a prize to some contest. Go to YouTube and watch some video’s of comedies, get advice on job searching, interviewing, speaking in public, dealing with stress, career direction; be more productive in other words than playing an on-line card game for hours with nothing to show for it.
Diverting some of your energy actually may re-energize you and allow you to focus better on things.