Job hunting after a layoff, part 2: Getting organized

Clear space for your materials, your computer, and your documents. Keep all of your important files in folders, and you'll save hours trying to find stuff.

A spot where you won't be disturbed by normal household business. For everyone's sake, because nobody will be used to the new arrangements for awhile, make sure everyone has some space. Nobody needs any more frayed nerves at this stage.

All your materials organized properly. Take some time to get everything in good order, so you can find things and use them efficiently. Your qualifications and certificates may already be organized, but what about your references, ID's, etc? Just be patient with this, and get it all set up.

A few selected websites where you're 100% certain you can find what you're looking for. This is absolutely critical. The wonders of modern technology now include the possibility of wasting days browsing sites that are basically useless. Stick to specialist sites, and the ones where you know you can put together good searches that don't produce thousands of useless pages. This wastes more time than just about any other part of a job search, and it is avoidable.

A good phone and email connection.

Phone: If necessary, use a landline. Phone interviews on a poor cell phone connection are not helpful, and you may be able to save money on minutes.

Email: Don't use any email where you get a lot of spam, because you will inevitably have problems, and maybe even delete job information.

A good work routine for your job search

Be practical about this. Come up with a routine that allows you to do what needs doing in a reasonable amount of time. Don't get obsessive about it. Job search takes as long as it takes. You've got ten working days to get your application in for most new jobs. The world won't end if you do the application tomorrow.

Other outside interests

You need to spend a certain amount of time each day searching and making applications. That doesn't mean entomb yourself in the job search routine. It's unhealthy. You don't want to become a hermit.

You can:

  • Do job training
  • Exercise
  • Do domestic jobs
  • Have some fun
  • Live like a normal human being

Research

This is another important job search function that you have to figure out how to make time for. You may need to research company information, policies, qualifications, certificates, training, etc. Allow a certain amount of time for it so you don't destroy your schedule.

Get organized, stay organized, and be organized.