Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Unemployment Update

So....I'm still unemployed. So is hubby. So far all this togetherness and stress has not led us to kill each other. And that's a good thing.

But I've been working...preparing myself for the hunt. Job hunt, that is. Shared a lot of what I've learned so far with hubby. He still isn't using my favorite tool.....THE (dreaded) LIST !!

I'm going at this from all angles.

1)  Been going to weekly meetings with a career counselor. She's super. A great resource! Because its been so long since I've had to look for a job, I was really out of touch with how its done these days. My counselor has done a wonderful job bringing me up to speed and into the modern world. (And no, I wasn't kicking and screaming.)

I'm learning how to market ME. Think of ME as a brand. I need to know my "product", i.e. ME, my skills, value, tools I bring to an employer.

Spent a few weeks developing a resume. Kind of weird to do a personal inventory of ME and what I can do. I mean, I never really thought about the mechanics of what I did. I just did it. Never had to think about it. We came up with a few versions of my resume so I can market ME a couple of ways, depending on the career/job path I choose.

She's got me using a lot of helpful websites, like LinkedIn and Indeed. Wow! So much info on those sites, it can be a bit overwhelming. I managed to get in a quick training class at the counseling center so I can know what I'm doing. I've connected with a lot of people on LinkedIn - from former coworkers to friends and family. If I wasn't tech savvy before, I am now!

We're at the marketing campaign phase. I've worked on an "elevator pitch" and some mock interviewing. Printed business cards for ME and I'm in the process of building an action plan.

Phew! What a crash course. I know I've got the tools now to dive on in. I feel more empowered. And I'm praying all this will pay for itself 10-fold down the line.

2)  I've been networking - using all kinds of social media. I'm on facebook and twitter. A girlfriend just gave me a quick lesson on Pinterest. I've got to keep up with all this so I can compete with the younger crowd in the job market.

3)  I've taken a few classes - on writing and photography - and plan on signing up for more.

4)  And then there's the blog. This platform has given me back my first love - the written word. It's also gotten me out of the house so I'm not sitting around in a darkened room wallowing in self pity, which would be easy to do after being laid off. I've been visiting local tourist sites, going to events, volunteering, visiting with family and friends. I try to get out at least once a week. Then I come home and write about it. It's been one of the best parts about being unemployed. Time. Having the time to visit with the people and places I told myself I wanted (and needed) to see .... someday

5)  Exercise - I've been making a point of keeping up with it. Walking. Running. Weights. It clears the mind. Keeps me strong. (Or at least I like to think so.) I've also managed to lose weight this past year and so far I've kept it off (tho its been real hard and awfully tempting to throw in the towel and reach for all the junk food and balloon back up - I'm such an emotional eater).

I may not be sitting in a gray cubicle 9-5, but I am working hard. At preparation. Building my brand. Bettering myself.  I'm a work in progress.

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