Monday, February 9, 2009

101 (other) things you can do while looking for a job

Article Title: 101 (other) things you can do while looking for a job
Author Byline: Tim Tyrell-Smith @ Spin Strategy™ - Tools for Intelligent Job Search
Author Website:

This one goes under the category called "The Psychology of Search". Why, you ask? Well, believe it or not, having other things on your mind besides job search helps clear your head. It allows you a few distractions so that you can stop checking e-mail every 10 minutes. Is that you?

I also believe very strongly that despite the stress and frustration that comes with an extended job search, there is a positive that must be recognized. I wrote about it early in this blog's life (seven days in). The post was titled "Out of Work? Lucky You". I actually worried in the beginning that readers might see that title as a bit too sarcastic. After all, there is real pain out there in job search land. Homes are lost and family relationships are strained. I get that part.

In the end, though, that post was one of my most popular (in terms of views). And I didn't get any hate mail. So I guess I'm off the hook.

However, the opportunity that is available is so significant that I felt I needed to do a much bigger follow-up list. Last time I offered 25 ideas. This time I will share 101 ideas. OK, I'm kind of cheating because I will include the original 25 to kick things off. But hey, just think, you get 76 more FREE! Isn't that something?

OK. Ready?

1. Walk or drive your kids to school
2. Coach your daughter's soccer team
3. Volunteer at church
4. Take a drive up the coast to visit family
5. Take a class at the local university
6. Give your dog a bath
7. Start a blog
8. Re-assess your priorities in life
9. Create a short term and long-term financial plan
10. Paint your house
11. Transfer VHS family movies to DVD
12. Take to your spouse or significant other to brunch
13. Pull the old guitar out of the attic and serenade someone
14. Research your family tree
15. Organize a family reunion
16. Organize your home filing system
17. Create an estate plan
18. Pursue an entrepreneurial dream
19. Locate an old family friend and write him or her a letter (on paper with a pen)
20. Write a poem
21. Go to the gym (everyday)
22. Cook healthy dinners
23. Go to a museum
24. Re-negotiate your home, life and auto insurance rates
25. Start a family Yahoo! Group
26. Organize your recipe cards
27. Train for a half marathon
28. Learn a foreign language
29. Teach a class at the local community college
30. Pick one person in your network and find them a job
31. Plan a neighborhood block party
32. Put on an elaborate puppet show for your kids (fun, colorful socks work great)
33. Read the Bible
34. Work in your child's classroom
35. Lose 10 pounds
36. Plant a garden
37. Go on long bike rides
38. Sand and re-paint an old piece of furniture
39. Replace all your light bulbs with the "green"kind
40. Recycle everything
41. Join a book club and actually read the assigned books
42. Install baseboards and crown moulding
43. Try painting or carving something
44. Write a thank you note to an inspirational high school or college teacher
45. Meet your local congress person
46. Start a 529 plan for your kids (even if contributions may come slow)
47. Get a physical and depending on your age or gender, key disease screeners
48. Have your kids fingerprinted
49. Walk your dog . . . everyday
50. Write a business plan for a friend
51. Clean out all of your closets and donate the extras to charity
52. Organize a food drive for the local food bank
53. Play handyman (or woman) for an elderly neighbor
54. Order and analyze your credit report
55. Do your own taxes
56. Play chess in the park
57. Make your lawn the envy of the community
58. Be like Clark Griswold and light up your Christmas
59. Make a video interview of yourself so people can see and hear your 100 years from now
60. Go on long hikes and think about what working people are doing right then
61. Plan an economical boys or girls night out (this way you know you can afford it)
62. Clean out your rain gutters
63. Join a free online fantasy sports league
64. Write a patent
65. Catch a matinee - preferably an old western or love story
66. Become an active alumni of your college or greek organization
67. Go to a senior center and read someone the newspaper
68. Set up a Flickr account and organize all your photos
69. Write an e-book and give it away for free
70. Go to the library (a quiet place to get away from the phone)
71. Wash dishes by hand
72. Read a different magazine every day for 30 days (library)
73. Write your goals and, if married, share them with your spouse
74. Bake cookies once a week
75. Use the BBQ (again, once a week)
76. Smile at people you meet
77. Wash your windows
78. Check all your smoke detectors
79. Test for mold in your home
80. Insulate your doors and windows (saves $)
81. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
82. Build a cool lemonade stand for your kids
83. Frame and hang important family pictures
84. Get new house keys made (before they break)
85. Write a letter to a service person fighting in Iraq
86. Look for five ways to save money around the house
87. Plan a family slumber party (including tents) in the living room
88. Join the board of directors for a local charity
89. Be a phone volunteer for the next NPR station membership drive
90. Sleep in during the week (once a month)
91. Go fishing with an old friend
92. Sell extra "treasure" on eBay
93. Stop smoking. Really.
94. Create an iMovie or a fun slideshow on iPhoto
95. Buy a finch feeder and watch nature for a few minutes each day
96. Have a garage sale
97. See a free play at a local school or park
98. Catch a local little league game (and grab a hot dog and coke to go with it)
99. Smother your family with all the attention they've been missing
100. Go camping or take another inexpensive vacation
101. Take a deep breath and be grateful for everything you have.

Whew! So, what's my point? If you never have another extended break in your career, what will you wish you did during this period?

While you can't do it all - clearly your #1 priority is to be and remain focused on networking yourself into that next job - make sure some of what you do is more nourishing than frustrating.

What did I miss?

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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