So you are out of work, and whether it’s only been a day or two or close to a year, the advice I would give you as well as many others is to conserve your precious financial resources as soon and as often as you can. So why then, with money being so tight would I ever suggest you apparently spend your scare resources on a recreational game of golf?
Understand first of all that if you don’t play golf in the first place, feel free to substitute some other activity that you do partake in from time to time under normal circumstances that you may have eliminated from your present situation. It’s not as if the game of golf has the singular power to change your unemployment status just by playing a round of 18 holes.
However, bear with me as I talk about the benefits to be derived from engaging in a social and recreational activity. To start with, getting out to enjoy playing some golf can be part of a healthy routine. It gets you out of the house, into the open air, you walk, and get some needed exercise.
Another benefit is that unless you are playing the course on your own, you can have up to three other people joining you, and over the course of three hours, there’s time to chat about your situation with a captive audience but you can talk at a leisurely pace, rather than say, cramming everything you might want to convey over a half hour lunch. This networking opportunity is one of the easiest things to do for those who tend to freeze up when faced with the pressure of short intensive conversations. The golf course is more relaxed, people can talk a little, then walk, hit their balls, walk and talk when they putt out on the next green and before they tee off on the next hole.
On the other hand, inviting three of your buddies to play golf shouldn’t be seen by them as a three-hour trap in which they will be harassed for job leads, loans of money, or pleas for them to buy you lunch, pay for the golf itself, or the gas you used to get to the game. If this is the case, your golfing partners will be few and far between and word will spread like wildfire to avoid returning your calls.
And there is some merit in just going out and totally focusing on the friendship and the relationship building and talking as little as you can about your situation. In a case like this, you might decide that the golfing is your diversion for half a day from your job search; a healthy physical and mental break when you’ve been going non-stop with your job search. Before heading out, have a plan as to what you want to achieve for the day.
An interesting thing can happen however over any activity in which you are engaged with other people over a period of time. What could this be? Well, it’s the chance that someone meets you for the first time, see’s how you carry yourself, gauges your personality, hears the words you speak, feels your handshake, assesses your listening skills, hears of your work experience, and stores all that information either consciously or subconsciously. Then, as the day wraps up they might jot down their phone number and advise you to give them a call in a couple of days, or they take the initiative to call you within the next week with either a job offer or a solid lead.
Now you may or may not have this experience, and it may be not on a golf course, but at the gym, the pool, the tennis club, the sailing club, the Parent-Teacher Association. The point is that the more people you meet and stay connected with, the greater the likelihood that one or more of the people you meet and talk to will be in a position to help you along with finding new employment. Wise people know that it is not immediately obvious who can help you, and that your next job could start (or not) with just about anyone you chance to meet.
And there’s a key lesson that job seekers often fail to capitalize on. Let’s say you know a guy who pumps gas at the local filling station. As an Accountant, there’s no way this Gas Station Attendant could possibly get you a job in your field because he’s “just a guy who pumps gas”. That is such a poor but common mistake people make. Did it ever occur to you that he may know that the company needs an Accountant but that he doesn’t have those skills so unless he knows your situation he’s never going to pass on the information you’d need to get the job you want? So don’t just hobnob and chit-chat with people you think are somehow the obvious ones to turn to. Everybody you meet is potentially the first step to your new career or job.
Go ahead, call up your friends and book a tee time.