Professor W. Paul Borkowski,
Lead Faculty at the University of Phoenix, shares insight on
“What do I do when I become unemployed?”
For the last 4 years I have worked with the unemployed in a five county area of Ohio. I have literally assisted, counseled, advised or trained over 43,000 unemployed professionals. And common to their experience is the question:
”What do I do when I become unemployed?”
The newly unemployed realize that their lives are going through a significant change. The routine of having a job to go to and a personal schedule gravitating around that job is no longer relevant. Their daily activities also change. Many times this results in a feeling of loss of purpose. It is natural, then, that so many newly unemployed professionals do ask: “What do I do when I become unemployed?”
“What do I DO when I become unemployed?”
Having worked with so many newly unemployed, some common responses to this question tend to evolve with the ongoing experience of being unemployed. First, many newly unemployed professionals tend to initially welcome the perceived release from a tight schedule of activity. For many, at least initially, not having such a job oriented daily schedule tends to be a benefit of being unemployed. Second, they tend to become involved in non-work related activities in which they previously did not really have adequate time to engage. Such activities as photography, scrap booking, exercise and nature walks are frequently mentioned in this context. Third, pursuing a more active social life ranks highly on the list. Surprisingly, a concerted and systematic job hunt tends to rank below these other activities.
When newly unemployed, it is reasonable to presume that an appropriate but brief amount of time be taken to rest, recreate and explore this aspect of one’s change in life circumstances. Such a period of transitional reflection provides an opportunity to reevaluate one’s goals and one’s direction. However, the question remains unanswered as to “What do I do when I become unemployed?”
“What I DO when I become unemployed?”
Productive activity becomes imperative for the newly unemployed. While a work-schedule may have been eliminated, a new goal-focused schedule must take its place. This new and self-imposed goal-focuses schedule becomes like a work schedule, as it is important, affects one’s life-style and relates to effective personal time management. This new schedule sets as its purpose a new form of work and that is finding meaningful, sustainable employment. To an extent, the job of the newly unemployed becomes the job of finding employment.
I have observed that given adequate time an effective goal-focused daily regimentation evolves. This regimentation provides meaning and purpose for the newly unemployed and leads to meaningful, sustainable employment. And, having such a goal-focused daily routine minimizes to an extent practicable the duration of unemployment.
Daily Regimentation for newly unemployed;
1) Wake-up the same time as if you had to go to work.
By doing this, you remain disciplined and more ready to take that new job when it is offered. Maintaining the same personal regimentation as when one was working will assist in preventing a loss of purpose.
2) From 9am to 5pm consider yourself “on the job” and that “job” is finding a job.
Businesses tend to be open from 9am to 5pm in general. Human Resources personnel are also available during these hours. This is the ideal time window to field phone calls, send out resumes and follow-up on job leads.
3) Recreate and socialize after 5pm.
If recreation and socializing leads to networking and networking leads to job opportunities, do consider those that have jobs recreate and socialize after business hours.
4) Seek Training and Educational opportunities.
Potential employers do view the use of such “down time” for self-improvement and skill development to indicate an appropriate expression of time-management.
5) Send out 3 “qualified” job application each week and then follow-up on each application. Phone the employers to whom you have applied and ask for an “Informational Interview” just to practice your interview skills.
The overwhelming answer to the question: ““What do I do when I become unemployed?” by successfully re-employed professionals has been to treat re-employment as your new job and pursue that new “job” aggressively.