When I first took a teleseminar on blogging, one thing the instructor said was if you disappear from your blog for a while, don’t call attention to it. Start again like you posted yesterday. Sooooo, here I am calling attention to the fact it’s almost been two months since I’ve pontificated … to help make a point for job seekers.
What got me back on track was a simple tweet sent by my Twitter friend, @jlipschultz this week. He politely asked wasn’t it time I posted something (@jlipschultz is Jeff Lipschultz – you’ll find his blog link on my blog roll.) I thanked him “sarcastically” for the thunk on the side of the head, but it worked. A support team (I didn’t even know I had) helped get me back on the blogging track. OK, so what does that have to do with a job search?
Sometimes, after spending all day at the computer writing resumes, responding to email and tweeting, in between morning and evening pet sit rounds (my other business), I’m just not up to blogging too. That’s fine. When I started this, I knew I’d not be an every day blogger. I knew I’d have to grow into that level of commitment. I started blogging because I wanted a place to point clients for help with their job search. Rather than give out all the great links in my blogroll to every caller or explain the same concepts over and over again, verbally or via email, I started a blog. Now I have somewhere to send clients in support of their search and am able to give them detailed responses to frequently asked questions through my writing – saving them and me time. Added bonus, I’ve given them clickable links to some of the best information on the Internet from the top people in the career industry. So … what DOES all this have to do this with a job search?
I understand the “I can’t do another thing today feeling”. And I battle procrastination – fiercely some days – too. Taking this (finally) to the job search side, I get how you can feel like “if I have to respond to one more Monster board alert or read one more article about how to find a job my head is going to explode”. I empathize with the need to take a break. But don’t do as I did and let that “break” turn into a two month sabbatical. It’s so easy to look at your to- do list and move the more difficult, thinking-required tasks to tomorrow and jump on the easier, fun things. That’s OK in moderation. Be easy with yourself. But don’t cut yourself so much slack that tomorrow never comes.
Face it, if you’re on day one of a six-month severance package, just started collecting unemployment insurance or have “plenty of resources to help you ride the wave” putting something off one day really isn’t that big of a deal. Or is it? A day here and there to exhale and focus on something other than your search is healthy. Moving that “develop targeted searches-research companies, markets and salaries-practice negotiation skills–network-volunteer as a part of networking-scour niche job boards-respond to specific postings-take classes to gain new skills-harness the power of Web 2.0 social media” item on your to do list can quickly go from only a day’s delay, to a week to a month, to (for goodness sake) two months, in the blink of an eye.
Something else I learned in this little procrastination adventure is the importance of support. In this life, you really don’t have to go it alone. People are more than willing to help. (Sometime you don’t even have to ask.) Make yourself accountable to someone. Ask a friend to be your search buddy and check on your progress as you wade through the quagmire that is the search process. Make it an upbeat, positive friend who won’t cut you any slack and won’t let you wallow too long. Let them know your boundaries and your goals. Know there’s someone there watching your progress, pulling for you to succeed and helping you get back on track when you stumble.
Now that I know Jeff is paying attention, I’m committed to being a more frequent blogger again. I may even walk on the wild side and add blog posting to my schedule. Regardless. Jeff’s 140-character nudge through the Twitterverse did wonders to help me. Imagine what a good friend or two checking on your search progress will do for you.
Stay focused. Plan. Enlist the help of friend. I did not do any of these and look what happened … This is truly a case of do as I say, not as I do. (Up side: I got a blog post out of procrastinating a blog post. How cool is that?!)
PS – Lest you think I’ve been loafing, I’ve been very active on Twitter, participating in lots of career initiatives to put America back to work and help job seekers succeed. And I’ve been raising four orphaned baby opossums. (Yes, you read that right. I’ve got possums.) My next blog post will cover all the places other career professionals and I are posting information and for fun, I’ll throw in the possum story. I assure you, and Jeff, that will happen soon.