I’m excited to bring you the first of a series of articles from our guest writer, Carissa Doshi. Carissa started her career here at GoodTemps, where she spent several years as the head of the Placement office, overseeing thousands of job placements at customers such as JP Morgan Chase and the NYCDOE. After a time in the publishing industry as an assistant editor, she is now a business writer and president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on <a href="http://www.carissadoshi.com" target="new">www.carissadoshi.com.
5 Ways to Spend Your Time Wisely Between Jobs
Job hunting is the hardest job you will ever have to do, and there are only so many hours per day a person can spend doing it. Most people job hunt by applying for lots of jobs at first and then get frustrated with the lack of replies. Many start to sleep more or stop getting dressed first thing in the morning. The hours of free time you dream about while working can be incredibly frustrating when you face them everyday. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your day productive and enjoyable.<br /><br />When you’re looking for work, an important thing to do is keep applying. On days spent job hunting, I recommend getting up by 8:30am, getting dressed, getting a cup of coffee if you drink it, and applying for one job. Applying for more than one is fine, but if you spend all day every day job hunting, you will get burnt out. So after applying to a job, take a 15 minute break and then spend the rest of your day doing some of these things:<br /><br />1. Learn something new.<br/>Have you noticed that a lot of jobs you want call for a particular skill you don’t have? A lot of office jobs call for knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, or strong typing or data entry skills. Goodwill Community Foundation provides online tutorials free of charge in many skills like these at <a href="http://www.gcflearnfree.org" target="new">www.gcflearnfree.org. You can learn to type or practice typing skills you already have at free online websites like <a href="http://www.freetypinggame.net" target="new">www.freetypinggame.net or <a href="http://www.typingweb.com" target="new">www.typingweb.com. Now is also a great time to take a class or start working toward a degree or certificate if you’re interesting in changing career fields. <br /><br />2. Get your house in order.<br/>Most of us feel sleepy after lunch, but giving in to the temptation to take an afternoon nap can just make it harder to sleep at night. Instead, the afternoon is a good time to get up and moving so that you don’t have to fight to stay awake in front of the computer. Cleaning house will make you feel productive while you do it and happy afterward when you see the results. Get rid of old junk mail one day, and clean out a closet another. Donate or throw out things you no longer need or use. When you’re spending eight hours a day working again, you’ll be glad to be able to come home to a clean, inviting space.<br /><br />3. Get some exercise.<br/>Exercise is another good way to get moving during the afternoon, or whenever you need a boost of energy. Go for a walk in the park, or play a sport you like. It’s good for your health, and the endorphins your body releases will make you feel happier too.<br /><br />4. Volunteer.<br/>Volunteering is a great way to stay connected with other people and spend your time wisely. If you work with the less fortunate, it can make you feel good about yourself and put your own problems into perspective. Volunteer work is also something you can list on your résumé and a great way to meet other people who might be able to put you in touch with potential employers. Local food pantries, libraries, and churches often need volunteers. Choose something that interests you.<br /><br />5. Think about what you want.<br/>Most of us have things we’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to start, and not all of them require a lot of money, like a trip to Hawaii might. Make a list of the things you’ve always wanted to do or achieve. These can be career goals or family goals, or even hobbies you want to try. Have you always wanted to write a book? Or spend more time with the kids? Or be able to run a marathon? These are things you can start doing today. And when you go back to work — already on track to achieve some of your big lifetime goals — you’ll be proud of the way you spent your time.<br/>——<br/>Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on <a href="http://www.carissadoshi.com" target="new">www.carissadoshi.com.