Barbara Winter, author of “Making a Living Without a Job” is one of my sources of ideas and inspiration in my business, since 1999 when I first read her book (long before I had a business, I knew I wanted one!)
As I read a blog post of hers, I found thoughts coming to mind about how MY clients, whether they are current job seekers, or have found new jobs after working with me, could take these ideas, “10 Ways to Feed Your Joyfully Jobless Spirit” and apply them to a job search, or, on the job.
Barbara says: “Give Yourself a Change of Scenery”
For job seekers: The job search can be an absolute drag. Really, I know it can.
Some weeks there just isn’t ANYTHING at all you can find that excites you to apply for, and then that can kick in your fear merry-go-round, and so on . . .
Don’t get caught in any of that icky stuff! Go ahead, get out of your house! Take a walk in crunchy fall leaves & smell the air! Go see a movie. Always wanted to peruse those antique galleries on a Tuesday afternoon? Yes, you have my permission, if you need permission from someone!
Give yourself a break, change things up! Seriously. You may find either your inspiration returns after a fresh change in routine, or, who knows, maybe you’ll even stumble on a new contact or lead in a completely unexpected place . . .
On the job:
Reinvigorate yourself on the job with a change of pace within your work day routines.
- Go work in the conference room for awhile, undisturbed by the phone, constant email messages, co-workers dropping by, and enjoy the quiet, and the view of the pond or the treetops from the great windows in there.
- Have lunch in a different break room & chat with new folks.
- Take your lunchtime walk somewhere you don’t usually– the arts street downtown if you normally walk in the park, or vice versa.
- Or bring your iPod & climb the stairs for those 20-30 minutes instead, and listen to an inspiring podcast.
Anything you can do periodically to keep things from going stagnate in your office routines can help keep your ideas fresh and motivation to perform to your best inspired.
Barbara says: “Create a Research Project”
For Job Seekers:
This can be a great way to keep yourself occupied because it’s virtually impossible to job search 40+ hours a week, every week, for the months it can often take to find work.
So, find something you love & really get into it in the non-job search hours!
Here’s a news article about how one young woman in just that situation took on this idea creatively. From the blog post: “Losing a job means hitting the streets with a resume to some, wallowing in grief for others.
But for Marisa, it meant getting the sewing machine out and upcycling thrifted fashions. Every day.
“I was just in this not-feeling-good, crummy kind of mood, and I didn’t know how to kick it,” says Marisa. That’s when Marisa sawJulie & Julia. “[Julie] was finding something to do every day that made her feel great. I was jealous. I thought, I want to find that.”
What can YOU find, or create, to feel great every day during YOUR job search?
On the job:
Finding a specialty area to learn about can be a real career booster and resume builder – and, it can very often be done on the company’s dime – i.e. professional development. Make sure you are really actually interested in the topic, though, otherwise, it’ll just make you more qualified to do things you can’t stand, which I never recommend!
Here’s that idea, taken to an extreme – a self-made MBA plan. If it was me, I’d start smaller, much smaller, but work at whatever scale inspires YOU.
Maybe you are a passionate, hip teacher that really has wanted to learn to incorporate YouTube and blogging into your lesson plans, so plan 20 minutes a day to search out and read teacher blogs and message boards about technology in the classroom. Sign up for CEU classes on the subject. Schedule lunches with a colleague that is already integrating media into his classes that the kids just love & respond to.
If you are a secretary that loves the internet and knows the small company you work for could really get more clients if you had a stronger web presence, maybe a blog, or using social media, then talk to your boss about your ideas. See if you can take a webinar about it, or use 30 minutes of work time each day to do online research and read up on using Facebook, Twitter, etc. for business.
Finding ways to integrate your natural interests and lifelong learning into enhancing your work world can be a win-win for you and those you serve, from your customers/students/clients to your boss/company/organization.
What else can YOU think of to keep your job search, or your work life, fresh, inspired, and dynamic? Share your ideas in the comments!
You can also buy Barbara’s amazing book Making a Living Without a Job here, if you’d so moved!