Unemployed? Do Something!

The mind quickly turns to mush when not used regularly. Job seekers who have been on the shelf for a bit often struggle to pull thoughts together on the fly. I’ve been there. When I re-entered the business community after time away as a stay-at-home mom, my mind would blank and my words would dissolve on my tongue. Keeping up with challenging conversations and offering commentary in a concise and effective way is tough when your brain is out of practice. Considering job seekers need to be in top form, it is crucial to stoke your mental fires frequently so you aren’t left tripping over your lips during important conversations. Stuffing your brain full of all the world wide web has to offer isn’t enough. Frequent dialogue with other professionals is where it’s at.

What to do? Paula Burton, an unemployed Human Resources professional you will meet in a future blog, suggests staying plugged into the professional channels and organizations you would be involved with if you were employed. “Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you can’t behave like you do!” Paula is right and she does an excellent job of this. She plays an active role in key community and professional associations. In addition to the visibility her activity gives her job search, she is well practiced at conveying ideas and up to speed on trends in her area of expertise.

Follow Paula’s lead and nurture your brain while unemployed.

2 Comments

  • Gary Buxton says:

    Lisa,

    Your advice is absolutely on target.
    As you know, I recently took a 2-week temp contract job with a local company you had tweeted.
    Let me list some of the advantages, if I may.

    1. Restored a work routine: accountability.
    2. Required study and rapid qualification: use of brain.
    3. Exposure to literally hundreds of other people in a similar employment situation: friendships, networking and general informational opportunities, office environment learning new systems.
    4. Cashflow with overtime & weekends: twice the net pay of unemployment.
    5. Competitive environment (not backstabbing) helps tune competitive edge: just like sports.
    6. Replenished self-esteem: “I had the will to qualify, test, and produce. I did it.”
    7. The joy of working: the job was actually very, very fun!!! I never expected that.
    8. Short term means that even if you hate the task, it’s only for a few weeks or months (e.g. I hated boot camp, but it was only 9 weeks of hell.)
    9. New references and the possibility of rehire in the future.
    10. New hope that “I can and will make it” by versatility and adaptation to new environments.
    11. Remember: if it doesn’t work out: “Nothing is a total waste. It can always serve as a bad example.” :-)

    On the downside, if you really loved the job, you will have some post-partem depression and personal anger when the contract is over. That is a small price to pay for all of the advantages listed above.

  • Lisa says:

    Gary,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with your list. The advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages in your case. I appreciate you for sharing this.

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