I, for one, fully understand those in transition. I’ve been there at times myself–and for way too long. Life for the unemployed is hugely confusing. The quasi life equilibrium that used to exist before the transition period has been lost. And everybody you know seems to want to be helpful by giving you (nonprofessional) advice, which can add another layer of confusion to your bewilderment, thereby causing further disorientation. So, what’s the best thing to do to get back on track, get a job, and reach a life balance again? The answer may seem too simplistic: FOCUS.
You’ve probably heard the cliché “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going nowhere.” How true, so therefore you need a path, a direction, and a huge amount of mental energy to stay focused on the right things.
The following (professional!) advice is paraphrased from a recent networking presentation given by my friend Abby Kohut, who’s one of the smartest people I know in this business.
- Thirty percent of your time should be spent in live networking. Sixty to 80 percent of people get their jobs via networking. Think about how you got your last job: probably by talking to someone who put you in touch with others, and the next thing was an interview.
- Another 30 percent of your time should be spent on applying for jobs online, generating leads, and communicating via e-mail.
- Twenty percent of your time should be spent on volunteering. It is critical for your mental health simply to be with people, to get involved, and to get exposure.
- The last 20 percent of your time should be spent doing things for yourself. People are like batteries: periodically, they need to be recharged. In order to project to the hiring manager via the interview that you are the ideal candidate, you have to feel good about yourself. So, whatever makes you feel that way, do it!
By following these guidelines, staying focused, and cultivating perseverance, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a job you deserve.