It can be very frustrating looking for a job and attending dozens of interviews without any call back. By the forth one, you would become rather pessimistic as you have gotten used to seeing the familiar rejection emails from would be employers saying, we are not looking for bla bla bla, at the moment, but you can keep an eye on our website in case of any new opportunities.” Some job rejection emails are so cold, they would make Antarctica feel like a stove. And then the lingering mood swings and depression that follows for a few days after this, just before your sympathetic friend informs you of a job opening and you lighten up, slightly.
Having said enough about the sad scenes of not having a job, let us look at the brighter side. Here are my top 3 To Dos if you cannot find a job within a month.
1. If you are anything like me, you have an average of 50 new business ideas that pop up in your mind every month; therefore, being unemployed affords you time to develop these ideas, that is if you are not spending this time unnecessarily socializing,watching Telemundo or sleeping all day. Keep a book of ideas and write them down as they flow to you, do not discard any idea, well at least not on the first thought. Then figure out a business model around it. If you cannot think of how you will make money from it, then, it is not a business idea, it is simply an idea. There are several businesses you can start up from home, more about this on how to start a business from home in an upcoming article. From starting your own Youtube channel to providing home services, you can create a steady paycheck for yourself. The first step is to find a mentor who is already running a business for at least 5 years (it does not have to be a multi-million Dollar business), see our article on finding a mentor. Write your business plan. Then, think of how you can start small and scale up afterwards. Get creative about it. Within a couple of weeks, if you have a successful start, you might just have to shred your curriculum vitae all together. True Story!
2. Develop yourself through reading, taking courses, attending seminars and workshops. Do not wait for someone to suggest one, look them up online, there are free courses too! Spend less time in front of the TV. Now I know you have a lot of time under your belt, but being unemployed is not the ticket to binge watch all your favourite and worst TV shows, just because you have a lot of time, well unless, you want to become a movie director.
3. Leave your comfort zone, volunteer to help another entrepreneur. This will help you grow your knowledge on how to run a a successful business. Go out to events such as job fairs, club meetings, seminars, industry events and fairs. Pursue a hobby, who knows you may end up starting a business around it. I know a lot of people searching for jobs who spend most of their time indoors and who easily give excuses about not knowing where to go to. If you make an effort to sit down and write list of 5 places you could go to this week that could improve your chances of getting a job, I doubt that list would be empty. Positioning matters as much as your qualifications.
Finally, here are four guidelines to follow:
Prepare: Be ready with soft copies or hard copies of your CV if you are going for a networking event or meeting a potential employer outside work.
Practice: Have you found yourself in a place where you met face to face with someone who could give you a job or business opportunity and you were completely blank? To avoid this, write down and practice your elevator speech in pitching your business idea or skill to a potential client or employer.
Package: Look the part. This is not the time to always dress casually, you never know when you will meet your potential employer or client.
Position: Get out of your comfort zone, meet people, share your ideas in groups and speak to angel investors. Also find a great support group of friends who encourage you or are ahead of you in your field.