Have you ever been laid off?
I have. Several times. After the disappointment and tears comes this long expanse of time to fill. You used to get up in the morning at a certain time with a specific purpose. Now you have nothing special to do and nowhere to be.
How do you structure your day? Where to begin? How do you spend your time?
This is not the time to take a vacation or clean out your closets. Well maybe a little cleaning can be therapeutic. But this is a great time to clear the decks and focus most of your attention on your search.
First three priorities are to create a roadmap. This can take some time but without a roadmap you might wander around longer than Moses.
- Figure out what you want to do. Do you want to keep doing the same job you have been doing? Fine. At least that is a decision. Do you want to do something different? Plan it out.
- Where you can do that? What companies have jobs like that?
- Who to talk to make it happen?
Once you have a plan, you need to implement. How do you structure your day while you work your plan?
As a veteran job seeker, I have some ideas about how to structure your laid-off-days. We use the 80/20 rule:
80% of your time on your job search
20% of your time on personal activities
Why personal activities? Because all work and no play makes a dull job seeker. Personal activities could include walking the dog, exercising, cleaning those closets, working on a project in the garage, yard work or anything else you love to do.
Let’s break down that 80% of time spent on job search a little more. We can apply the 80/20 rule to this portion too:
80% to 90% of your time on networking
10% to 20% of your time answering ads
Networking includes meeting people who work at your target companies or work in the field you want, LinkedIn networking, coffee meetings with people you meet, attending professional association meetings, volunteering in some fashion in the field in which you want to work or in the community.
Every job seeker should have a LinkedIn profile at 100%, have at least 100 LinkedIn contacts and be involved in at least 6 groups. We consider it networking when you add contacts and participate in discussions with LinkedIn groups. This increases your visibility and moves your job search forward. Set a goal to add 3 new applicable contacts on LinkedIn every week.
Do not spend more than 20% of your time answering ads. I do not care if you think your industry is different. Most successful candidates obtain their job through networking so despite your beliefs, put your time into networking and minimize answering ads. Don’t stop answering ads. Just don’t spend the bulk of your time on wanted ads.
Get out there and meet people to move your job search forward!
If you would like more tips on a successful job search, check out a replay video of our recent job search training – it is free and has tons of job search tips in it.