It’s starting to get colder which can only mean winter is slowly but surely on its way. Speaking from experience I know the colder months can have a negative impact on the job search as the grey days do make it hard to stay motivated. One of the ways to combat this is to get into a daily routine that works for you. I found that if I dedicated the morning to my job hunt I could do things in the afternoon without feeling guilty. You cannot job hunt for 8 hours a day without going crazy. But nor should you sit on the couch for 8 hours a day…
So what do you do in those hours that you’re not job searching? Here are my top tips for things to do when looking for a job:
Volunteer. You know how you see some job ads and they say ‘we need someone with experience’? Well, a great way to gain experience is to volunteer. Not only will it mean less of a gap in your CV but it’s an excellent way of learning new skills, keeping busy and contributing something to your community. Just because it’s not paid doesn’t mean it’s not relevant and important. Here in Wellington we have Volunteer Wellington on Willis Street but see here for other local volunteer centres.
Start a project. Just because you don’t have a paid job shouldn’t stop you from learning new skills or keeping the old ones from getting rusty. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn – be it creative, technical or something else. Use this time to make a start.
Get income support. Don’t feel guilty about going on the Unemployment Benefit! When you eventually start working your tax dollars pay for this service so take advantage. Plus WINZ help you look for jobs so that is another plus.
Network. Yes this is part of the job search but you can still network when you’re socialising, surfing the web, having dinner with those friends of your parents etc. Advertised jobs means competition. Wouldn’t it be nice to apply for a job that hasn’t been advertised? The only way of finding out about these opportunities is to network. Don’t know how? Students and graduates of Victoria University can come along to our Networking Workshops. These run regularly throughout the year with our next one scheduled for 27 April. Our networking tip sheet also has some useful advice.
Get help. Don’t feel you have to do this all on your own. Seeing a careers consultant is a great idea for getting tips on your job search strategies, CV and cover letter. Everyone has access to a careers consultant be it at your University or through a government service. Remember here at Vic Careers we see graduates of Victoria as well as current students.
Take some time out. This is another thing not to feel guilty about. I know you needed a new job yesterday but take a bit of time each day to have ‘me time’. You’ll job search much more effectively because of it.
Stay positive. Unemployment won’t last forever. It may seem like that right now but you’re not alone in this quest. Look after yourself and surround yourself with positive people – the ones who know how much you have to offer and won’t let you get down on yourself.
Want to see 10 things the experts recommend? See here for a great article on ’10 things to do while you’re unemployed’