Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Something Fun

Job hunting and unemployment can be hard, so here's something to make you laugh.  Monty Python's take on a job interview is much more interesting and less annoying than some I've had, believe it or not.

Goodnight, a ding ding ding!

Monty Python Job Interview

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Few Reminders

I sometimes lose perspective on my life when it comes to being unemployed, and I need to be reminded of a few things to regain it.

There is always someone worse off than you.

A job cannot completely define you, and never should, even if it is something that you love.

There are many people who are there to support you. Some in ways you might not even realize.

Respect must be earned, but sometimes it needs to be taken.

Never be afraid to apply for a job. The worst that could happen is that you stay unemployed. Big Whoop.

Some people might be jealous of you and your situation. Not that being unemployed is anything to envy, but there are some advantages over working stiffs.

You get to spend time with the dog. Isn't he cute?

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Unending Search

The process of job searching can get really tiresome after a few months- especially when you don't get many or any interviews. I know this for a fact because I recently went about three and a half months between interviews. I told myself that Christmas and the first of the year were going to be lean job hunting times, but it still was hard to get through. What makes the search seem more interminable is when you are surrounded by people who all have jobs.

I found this article on Aol Jobs, and while it might not all apply to you in your search (it didn't all apply to me), there are some nice hints about how to make the search process better. I think the part about having another jobless person to be an accountability partner is a nice idea. I have noticed that those who have jobs have a hard time completely understanding what this whole unemployment thing is about, even when they really try. See what you think, and please give me feedback.

Trapped in Your Job Search

Friday, April 2, 2010

Signs of Improvement?

The New York Times has an article on their website about how the job market improved in March. I hope that it's a sign of things to come. Here is the article for your perusal.

Job Market Brightens

I don't think that we're out of the woods yet, my friends, despite a good month of March.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Few Tips

Here now are some job hunting tips from someone who has done a lot of that in the last few months.

Don't be too picky. This economy is so tight that you can't be unwilling to do certain jobs. With that said, don't apply for jobs that you wouldn't be happy doing.

Craigslist is a nice place to start looking for jobs, but some of their posts are suspect. Be wary of jobs that don't list the company name.

Monster.com is not that great of a place to find jobs.  Every job I get sent to me is in New York, and while I don't dislike New York, I might like a job closer to where I live now.

Try to find some places/companies/organizations that you might like to work for, and check back on their websites periodically to see if any jobs have been posted. I have several that I frequent, and some have yielded interviews. It's only a matter of time before one yields a job.

Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. I have been told that "it's not what you know, it's who you know" and I now agree with that statement. Most of my best leads have come via friends who have had me on their radar.

In the same vein of the last tip, make sure to use any advantages that you have. If someone offers to make a call or send an email on your behalf- let them. It can't hurt.

That's all for now, but I have more pearls of wisdom for later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't Let A Job Define You

It's hard not to let what you do for work define you as a person. When you meet someone new, you immediately ask them, "What do you do?" Since I have been unemployed I have had difficulty answering that question, and usually I'll say something like "nothing, right now." This is total crap, however, because even though I am out of work, I do plenty. In fact, I might be doing more things now than when I had a job, so I need to rethink how I define myself.

In our society it is hard not to fall into the trap of jobs defining us as people. We think of ourselves as lawyer, teacher, waiter, administrative assistant, etc. We don't often think of ourselves as writer, volunteer, gardener, or even parent. Jobs are what we spend much of our time doing, but rarely do they really completely define us in every facet of life. It is pretty obvious when we stop to think about it, that we are so much more than our workplace selves. I am still the same guy now that I was a year ago when I had a job, but now I think of myself differently. I was the same me when I was a waiter in college that I was as a teacher.

Try to avoid the trap of using a job to be your source of definition and self worth. If all you are is the job, go out and find something else to engage in. Unemployment offers a unique time to really examine who you are, and what you value about yourself. I'm trying to change my answer to "What do you do?" from "Nothing, right now" to something like "A lot, actually." Because, after all, that's the truth.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Filling the Time

One of the major problems with being unemployed is that there is suddenly a wealth of free time that wasn't there before. At the start of your jobless time it is actually quite nice to have some quality days to just relax and get a few chores and errands done. After a few weeks or even months, it becomes clear that errands and chores don't really take up that much time, and daytime T.V. is pretty craptacular. I needed to do something with myself to not feel like such a waste of space, and here's some of the things I came up with.

-Volunteering for Utah AIDS Foundation
-Volunteering at KUED Channel 7 in the Creative Services Department
-Starting a Blog, or two
-Working on writing projects that I didn't have time for while I was working
-Doing Committee work for the Utah Heritage Foundation
-Substitute Teaching
-Volunteering for Peter Corroon's Campaign for Governor

These things might not be exactly what everyone else would want to do to stay busy, but they were good for me. I only put them down as an example of some of the many options out there for unemployed people. It was amazing how happy these people and organizations were to have me come and help, and how much better and more valuable I felt as a result. In addition to getting me out of the house, these simple activities gave me networking opportunities that I would never have gotten by sitting around moping. Getting out and meeting new people is a great way to find out about jobs and see what things might interest you in your search. Also, these types of things look great on a resume, especially if you have a sparse one to begin with. Check back for more ideas in this vein.