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Job SeekerIf you are an unemployed job seeker, your job search might be more difficult because you don’t already have a pre-existing schedule to help you establish a structure for your search. There are pros and cons to being an unemployed job seeker. You have more time than those who are employed, but you also have to create your own structure and schedule from scratch to ensure you’re effective in your job search.

I recently spoke with a career coaching client, Andrea, about this exact issue. She was finding it hard to structure her days in a way that she was effective in her job search. At the end of each day, she felt like she had taken action, but wasn’t sure if it was the most effective action. She didn’t have a sense of accomplishment. Every day and every week I suggest having a basic template for your job search that creates your own schedule. Go by the hour if needed. For example, every day you start your work by 9 am and from 9-11 you work on networking, and searching online job boards. Take a break for lunch, and an additional hour for working out/doing personal things if needed. Then get back to your job search from 2-5. During that time you can work on applying for jobs, revising your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile, making connections in LinkedIn or reaching out to recruiters.

You can set your schedule however you want to. The key is to have a structure in place so that you know when you want to be working on specific things. This will help you establish what goals you want to achieve each day and each week. Having a schedule will help ensure you’re using your time and energy wisely and that you’ve accomplished what you want to each day.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my career coaching clients complaining about how tough the job market is. And actually it’s not just them – it’s all over the place in the media. We hear about how competitive and hard it is to find a decent paying job. Yes, it is easy to complain and focus on negativity. But does that really get you anywhere?

I came across a great article from FOX Business title “The Job Market is Tough, But Sometimes, Failure is a Choice.”

In this article the writer shares a story about a local café he sometimes visited. It was run by a group of young people who he had witnessed lacking in their efforts and responsibilities for the business. As a customer he experienced poor service, a messy café and the owners slacking off in front of customers. When he asked why they had shut down after only a short time they said that it was because of the economy. He saw it differently.

I especially liked this part of his article: “Every recession has its shining stars and there are always opportunities. Stars are the ones who took charge of their careers and genuinely committed themselves to being successful. Whether you are a business owner, manager, or individual contributor, failure is often a choice.”

I recommend that you read the entire article here.

I think his tips and points are excellent. Remember that you are responsible for you. You need to take personal responsibility for your job search, your career and the direction it’s going. Don’t waste your time and energy blaming external forces and other factors. Be your own shining star!

Here’s to having a career you love!

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

Request our free career report “Top Three Tools to Identify Your Ideal Career” and discover the 3 most important tools to help you clarify your career direction.

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If you are unemployed and are concerned about the gap in your resume, you should first know that you are not alone. This is a common concern for people who are unemployed.

Have you heard of the term “survival job”. These are generally lower paid and low end job. A survival job usually is needed for financial reasons. This phrase has been around for a long time, but is becoming much more common given the long amount of time that people are unemployed. After someone goes through their savings they literally need something, whatever it is, to pay the bills.

A survival job can be a way to boost your confidence and give you a sense of purpose. It will help you pay your bills and get you out of the house everyday. It also can help you fill that gap in your resume. The cons of course is that it will take some time away from your job search and that it is a lower paying job. Things will most likely still be very tight. It is unlikely that a survival job would help you get your foot in the door to a higher paying job, although that does occasionally happen.

I found a great article about survival jobs from US News: “Can’t Find Work? Get a ‘Survival Job’“. They give some great examples of what survival jobs look like.

One word of caution: I was speaking with one of our group career coaching clients and he was telling me about a friend of his who is a manager in a big company. They look for employees who are strongly motivated by money. It’s mostly a sales job. He told me that in conversations with his friend about survival jobs, his friend had told him when they see resumes with past jobs that aren’t aligned with being motivated by money, they don’t give that person an interview. When he asked his friend what that meant he gave an example of a woman who had worked in a social workers office and then for a non-profit organization. Although this might have been her dream job, her resume did not reflect a desire to make money (in his eyes) and it went in the no interview pile.

Survival jobs can be great to help you fill those gaps in your resume, however if you feel that it would have a negative impact on you  and your career goals it might be best to leave those off. Every case is different and there are always other circumstances that come to play. The bottom line is that you have to pay your bills. A survival job might be the answer for at least right now.

Here’s to having a career you love!
Hallie Crawford
Job Search Help

If you need help with your resume, contact us for a resume review session.

Today we continue to look at tips for people unemployed during the tough economy. If you missed Part I, you can read that article here.

Being laid off in any economy is hard. However, being laid off during a recession brings on new challenges. For example, there is more competition for the jobs that are available, only certain industries are hiring, and pay is often decreased for the jobs that are available.

What do you do if you are unemployed in a tough economy?
First of all don’t panic! There are jobs out there, but decisions made out of fear never have good results. Although you may have to work a little harder to find a job during a recession, here are tips 4-6 to help you:

4. Create a schedule. This is an extremely important step because it will keep your mind focused so you don't get depressed. Make a list of what you want to accomplish daily/weekly. Perhaps it’s writing your cover letter or updating your research. Maybe you will start researching potential jobs and looking at websites like CareerBuilder or Monster. Set realistic goals for yourself each day and stick to them!

5. Consider a temporary lower paying job. This may be a hard step for you to take, but it will give you the opportunity to get more work experience, will get you out of the house, boost your morale, and most importantly in a tough economy, it will offer some temporary financial assistance. Temp agencies are a great place to start.

6. Get support. Are you unsure of your ideal career path? Do you need help identifying values and goals? A career coach can help you find your ideal career path. If you need help contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Here's to having a career you love,
Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

Categories : Career Corner
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Happy Monday!! I hope your weekend was great :)

This week I have some tips for people unemployed during the tough economy.

Being laid off in any economy is hard. However, being laid off during a recession brings on new challenges. For example, there is more competition for the jobs that are available, only certain industries are hiring, and pay is often decreased for the jobs that are available.

What do you do if you are unemployed in a tough economy?
First of all don’t panic! There are jobs out there, but decisions made out of fear never have good results. Although you may have to work a little harder to find a job during a recession, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Make sure your resume is up to date. Take some time reviewing your resume. How do you stand out? Does your resume highlight your skills and professionalism? Do you have a cover letter that works? Think about hiring a professional to help you revise your resume and cover letter.

2. Network. Networking is still the best way to get a job. Tell family, friends, former co-workers, etc. that you are looking for a job. They can’t help you unless they know you are looking. Don’t just say “I’m looking for a job”. Give them specifics. Ask them about specific people they know that might be in your industry. Dig up names in your address book from internships or summer jobs you’ve had and reach out to those people.

3. Use blogs and social networking sites. Join online networking groups, especially if there are networking groups specific to your industry. Online networking tools are very important. Social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to network online. Write on other blogs or start your own. That is a great way to show others what you know about your industry. All of these techniques help you get your name out there.

Stay tuned for tips 4-6 on Wednesday!

Here's to having a career you love,
Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

Categories : Career Corner
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Were you just laid off from your job?

One small consolation is – you’re not alone. This is happening worldwide at an alarming rate. But even though it’s happening to so many people; it is still a shock to actually here those words, “We’re letting you go.” After you hear this your next thought it – now what?

Here’s the answer to that question:

You are more in control than you think. Obviously you did not create the weak economy leading to this event. BUT – you ARE in total control of how you respond to that event. Here’s how that works: Suppose you get depressed and just give up. Your response would obviously create a negative reality in your life.

But what if you instead respond by “taking the tiger by the tail” and start a new business on the web, or become a consultant in your field of specialization. You have then created an entirely different reality in response to the exact same event.

Turn your frustration into a motivator to start your search for your ideal career. You’ll create a whole new reality for yourself that will allow you to move forward, instead of remaining stuck where you are.

You may find that you are ready to switch gears completely.  You may wonder, am I really ready for a career transition? How can I best prepare myself for a change? But even before you delve into the components of a satisfying career, it helps immensely to cultivate a healthy and positive mental outlook. People who are successful at making a change are the ones who are willing to overcome their fears, doubts and insecurities in order to make it happen. You too, can be one of these people.

Blast off towards your ideal career…In my brand new coaching group, Identify Your Ideal Career Path - You CAN have a career that is fulfilling, rewarding and fun. Join my next coaching group to identify your ideal career path and learn how to make it happen. Click here to read more

Here’s to having a career you love!
Hallie Crawford
Career Transition Coach

Categories : Career Corner
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