Don’t Wait. If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.
Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help you job search.
Make an Actionable Plan
Before you take a massive leap into a new career, take time to make an actionable plan. But don’t outline your five- or ten-year plan—while this is important, right now, you want to be thinking more immediate. Consider where you want to be this year, and what small, yet actionable steps you can take to achieve that objective.
For example, if want to make the move from salesperson to marketing specialist, there are a few actions you might take, including:
- Shadow a marketing specialist at my current job this month.
- Write a list of ways my sales skills applies to marketing so I can be prepared for interviews by next month.
Notice how each of these actions are specific and paired with a time limit.
Set a routine.
Plenty of people complain about not having enough time to do all they need to do. Unfortunately, this is generally due to poor time management. While it may not match your ideal of the jet-setting entrepreneur lifestyle, the truth is that success rewards routine. Having a set routine for your day can be extremely helpful in allowing you to complete tasks and pursue high level achievements.
For instance, one common routine of successful people is to wake up early so that they can meditate, answer emails, or work out–basically, so that they can have some quiet time in the beginning of the day so that they can focus on work when it’s time to get going.
To really influence others, listen more than you talk.
Every person you meet is a potential door to a new opportunity—personally or professionally.
Someone in a support role—an assistant, an intern—could be the best networking contact ever.
Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. Here’s how to get started with social networking.
Hiring managers can smell desperation a mile away and they don’t like it. If you’re looking for a job, then act like your job hunt is your job. Keep a schedule, create task lists and execute them, and do everything you would do if you had a job. When you walk into an interview with the glow of someone who has a task to complete , you’ll change your interviewer’s demeanor. You cannot fake confidence. If you’re putting out resumes and scheduling interviews, then that kind of confidence comes out when you sit down and talk to a hiring manager. If you’re looking for a job but are currently working, then don’t act like you’re sneaking around. Stand tall and give strong handshakes when you walk through the door of a hiring manager to talk about your next career move.
Measure Your Own Success
How do you define success? Is it the size of your paycheck or having the corner office? Is it the feeling you get when you know you did a great job on a project (praise from the boss doesn’t hurt) or the one you get when you know you helped someone? Perhaps you feel successful after putting in a day at work and coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family. Since each of us measures success differently, you are the only one who can decide what it means to you. Your satisfaction with your career is strongly linked to whether you feel you have met your own, and not anyone else’s, definition of it.
- Only check email at specific times during the day, and try to limit it to only 4-5 times a day. If you don’t have nearly this much self control, use a tool like Inbox Pause to keep emails from showing up in your inbox until you’re ready for them.
- If email’s really getting you down, try Time Management Ninja’s system for only checking it twice a day.
- Need to answer emails in a hurry? Add the perfunctory “Sent from my iPhone” signature at the bottom of the page—even if you’re emailing from your computer. While you shouldn’t do this all the time, it’s a quick way to bang out some one-sentence replies without people thinking you’re being rude.
1. Make sure your to do list is up to date, and do a quick gut check to make sure that you’ve been spending your time on what’s most important.
2. Knock out a few emails. If you don’t already, try using a “quick answer” tag that you add to any email that will take you 60 seconds or less but isn’t urgent. When you have five minutes, clear out as many of these as possible.
3. Check your upcoming meetings for the week, and send any emails necessary to confirm them.
4. Unsubscribe from any newsletters that aren’t helping you achieve your goals using unroll.me.
5. Identify one thing that you can delegate, and to whom you can delegate it. Send this person an email, and get it off your plate.
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