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Unemployment Is Not Vacation Time

by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM

Wouldn't you like a month or two off? It would be nice to be able to relax, get some things done around the house and spend some time with the kids, right? Everyone would like such an opportunity, but the time to do these things is NOT when you are unemployed!

On several occasions I've had clients come to me after being unexpectedly downsized or let go and say, "Oh there's no hurry to finish my résumé. I'm going to take some time off and relax." This is exactly the WRONG thing to do at such a time!

People who are now in the job market searching for a new position need to get started right away with their job search, as it is taking between 2-6 months to find a new job depending upon your position level.

By taking some time off for "vacation" between jobs, a cloud of desperation can settle in and you can lose your momentum. It also cuts the amount of time you can allow yourself to find a job that suits you before financial woes set in and you have to settle for just a paycheck job.

Some tips for avoiding the cloud of unemployment desperation:

  1. Update your resume. This is the first step and it is critical! The last thing you want to do is appear unprepared when someone asks for a copy of your resume.
  2. Enlist the services of a Nationally Certified Professional Resume Writer. If you are having difficulty writing your own resume or the resume you have written is not getting results, consider enlisting the help of a certified professional resume writer to write your resume.
  3. With the unemployment rate at the highest level in years, it is important to have the best presentation of your skills and accomplishments because you will be facing strong competition.

  4. Make a list of all your network contacts and get in touch with them once your resume is in order. Almost all jobs in these tough economic times are found through networking with current / former colleagues, friends, and individuals with an excellent reputation in your industry. Even if you have not been in contact with individuals' for years, reconnect with them through on-line services such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Both are free to join.
  5. Treat your job search like a job. Get up at your regular time, get dressed for work, and work at getting a job all day.
  6. Be an active participant in your job search. No one can get a job for you - you have to do it yourself. However, others can assist you, and I always recommend getting a friend, family member, or job search coach to help you.

Do not allow yourself to take a break when you find yourself unemployed. Time is your enemy in a job search. Don't give it an unfair advantage.

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