I’m sure you’ve heard at least one person say that looking for a job is a full-time job itself. Even those who have full-time jobs have time off however, so what about the folks who are unemployed or who are so dissatisfied with their current work they are looking to make a move? Should they or shouldn’t they take time off say, on a Sunday; a traditional day of rest?
Increasingly in our modern societies we look at work differently than we did in years past. For many years many worked Monday through Friday and the weekend was the traditional time off for rest and relaxation. You’d, ‘earned’ your two days off, and ‘off’ meant doing whatever you wanted with your time; household chores, hobbies and socializing, spending time with family and friends.
As I say though, we look at things differently now. Shopping isn’t reserved for Monday through Saturday anymore; Sunday is a day like many others, perhaps with shorter hours, but as there’s money to be made, there are merchants with their open signs turned to the public. More people are working through the weekends anyhow and having their time off on weekdays, or working 6 days or more straight for say, 4 days off in a row. The traditional Monday – Friday 9-5 is dwindling away; morphing to meet the needs of non-traditional employers and responding to employee preferences in the process.
So when you’re looking for work, do you or don’t you give yourself permission to drop your job searching? Speaking personally, I think that while this is a decision best left to individuals themselves, I tend to come down on the side of those who say yes, take the day off.
Just like your laptop or phone, you need time to recharge. Unlike your laptop or phone however, you can’t recharge while you’re plugged in at the same time. Rest and relaxation, (R&R) is your down time; valuable time to give that work/life balance thing some needed attention. If you’re a family person, there are people who want some of your undivided attention. If you’re single and don’t have family or friends in abundance, you still need some down time to do whatever it is you find pleasure in; work, and looking for it, doesn’t qualify.
Now sure you might be thinking to yourself that looking for work when your competition is taking time off from their job search is the exact advantage you need to be successful. There is that possibility of course that you do see a job to apply to on some website that gives you a days advantage over others, I admit. However, I’ve yet to see the job posting that’s up for only a day and then yanked off a website the next. Employers want a healthy competition and good candidates from which to choose so it’s highly unlikely you’ll miss a job on a Sunday that is gone on Monday never to reappear.
The other argument for job searching on a traditional day off is that there’s a distinct change in mood when you’re looking for work on these days vs. traditional work days. So Monday to Friday you might job search better in the home office dressed in your business casual to simulate the work atmosphere, and on Sunday afternoon you’re perusing the web from your patio under the gazebo in your shorts and t-shirt. Kicking back with your favourite drink, the weekend edition of the local paper and editing your resume on and off might work for you; who’s to say?
Consider this though: while you might have the energy to go 6 days of job searching and then have remaining reserves and motivation to add Sunday to the mix, will you feel the same way after the following Monday to Friday? An additional 5 days more of job searching? By the time you hit Tuesday of the following week, your constant focus on looking for a job or indeed a better job might have your energy meter desperately low. And the more you sit forcing yourself to job search with low energy, the easier it will be to feel distracted, disinterested and then what follows is the guilt as you know you’re dogging it.
The good thing about days off and away from what you normally do throughout the week is perspective; variety. Fix that squeaky door or floorboard, paint the garage doors or caulk the backsplash in the kitchen and you’ll feel good about having accomplished something practical. Your to-do list gets a much-needed check mark and your ego gets a pat on the back; that voice on your shoulder reminding you of all the things you aren’t doing but need to, gets a little quieter.
Turn your attention to other things and when you do come back to looking for work, you can do so with more enthusiasm, more energy, more focus. Ironically, here I sit Sunday morning and at this stage of the blog it’s 5:46 a.m.! Following my own advice? Hmm… Ah but I’m enjoying this ‘me’ time. It’s not an obligation and it’s a dedicated time piece; it will conclude before 6:00a.m. leaving me the day to do other things – and I plan to.
Do what and as you wish, but if you need or want a voice to say, “Take the day off; you deserve it” – here I am saying it.
Sunday…your day…recharge, re-energize, re-focus. Monday will come soon enough so enjoy it.