No one ever suggested that searching for a job is easy, but it doesn't have to be a negative experience. So say Richard and Terri Deems, co-authors of Make Job Loss Work For You (www.jist.com). They believe there are several small steps one can take to conduct a faster and more rewarding search. I agree with them. "Candidates who are out on the streets talking and meeting with people are those who maintain energy and confidence," they explain. "Those who sit back and merely mail out their resumes are often those who get discouraged." Here are their tips to boost your drive during your job search. Marvin Walberg, Scripps Howard News Service
Set up some kind of office where you can direct your job search. You will need a desk, a chair, a phone, a computer, Internet access, space to file materials/information and space to work. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need to be comfortable and provide you with privacy. When you are in this space, you are "at work."
Maintain your normal schedule. Get dressed each day just as if you were going to be out talking to people — because you probably will be.
Participate in some kind of physical fitness program. Exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety and enables you to think more clearly. Exercise also releases body chemicals that help keep depression away. If you're a bit overweight, the extra exercise can help reduce the pounds and help you feel better about yourself.
Watch your diet and eat right. Eat balanced, reasonably sized meals. Excessive coffee can increase tension and appetite. Alcohol can dull your thinking ability (and add weight). Excessive sweets and sugars can increase tension and irritability.
View your activity as fulfilling your "job requirements."
Set weekly and daily goals in terms of contacts to make and research to conduct. Keep a record of your activity. People who devote four to eight hours to their job search per day get jobs more quickly than those who devote only a few hours each week.
Maintain your physical appearance. First impressions are important, and you will want to look good. If finances are a major concern, look for recycled-clothing shops or job search "closets" that exist in many cities.
Marvin Walberg is a job search coach.