5 Productive Moves for the Unemployed

– Posted in: overall job search skills

If you are unemployed, here are 5 things you can do to improve yourself significantly, while in job search mode or just before you gear up to job search mode. It’s important to be confident in the fact that you will find a job before you start looking and certainly while you are looking. These 5 actions will build your confidence to new heights and absolutely help you achieve your job search goals.

1. Truly assess your strengths and your areas for improvement. It is a wise thing to do because you will always use this information in your career. List out your 10 strengths and list your top 5 weaknesses – your real weaknesses that you would never mention in an interview. Then, make a plan to strengthen them. Warren Buffet said that if he had to pick the number one thing that made him a success it was that he knew what he was good at, he knew what he wasn’t good at, and he did something about it!! Do something about that!!

For example: if public speaking is tough – join Toastmasters or take a class. Truly mastering this will always help you in your career. If you are part of the global world of business– take a language class in your area of focus. So if you work on Latin American business, in any capacity, learn Spanish – there is Rosetta Stone, or supplement that with a live class.

2. Volunteer to help others much less fortunate than you. It doesn’t matter what you volunteer to do, but truly help a group or one person. This will give you perspective and posture, and will absolutely lower the stress when looking for a job.

3. Get healthy: there is nothing more important than your health … and a side benefit to getting healthy is that you will look and feel better for when you do interview. When I left Citigroup and went to interview with Warner-Lambert, I dropped about 20 lbs & was in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time. Good thing too because I had 11 interviews in one day & had to drive to 3 different buildings. One person met me at the entrance to a building, but her office was way in the back of the complex. So we had a long walk, and she was a very fast walker – really fast. So we hustled. If I was out of shape & gasping for air, that would not have left a good impression. As it was, I had a bit of sweat on my nose (I can never help that!) but otherwise, I was “cool hand Luke” and proud of it!!

4. Organize your surroundings: getting rid of clutter, whether it be on your kitchen counters, or in your closet, gives you an extra boost of energy. If you don’t believe it, try it. Clean out your car so it looks immaculate. Organize your holiday cards, decorations, birthday calenders … everything you can get your hands on. This makes the stress melt away & makes you happy to be in your own surroundings. This was an excellent tip from a terrific coach: Talane Miedaner who wrote an exceptional book: Coach Yourself to Success.

5. Laugh a lot and laugh hard! I love to catch a segment of America’s Funniest Home Videos every now and then because some of them are amazing – some are silly but the good ones are a blast to watch. Laughter is good for the soul, so watch something that makes you laugh or spend time with people that make you laugh. An episode of The Office cracks me up every time! Whatever it takes, find the laughter because it will make you feel so good. Even if you laugh at the absurd, which is all around us!

1 Comment… add one
Allison Cheston February 9, 2011, 11:34 am

Hi Connie,

I really like your upbeat and specific post. I’m a NYC-based career advisor and I work with plenty of mid- to senior-level people who could really benefit from this kind of advice.

I will say that although I’m a big proponent of taking classes and self-improvement, I subscribe to Marcus Buckingham’s theory that you will only become really great at something you’re already good at, and so it’s best to focus on strengths not weaknesses if you have to choose.

But I do think public speaking is one of those things that to be great in your career, you have to do, and for many of us it requires practice practice practice.

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