EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Probably one of the hardest things to do during a job search is keeping yourself energized. If you are conducting your job search from home, it can be even more difficult.

The thing to recognize is that conducting a job search is in some respects painful for us financial types. We don’t get to do spreadsheets (which we adore), and all we get to do is write letters and make phone calls. Sure, making phone calls to collect past due invoices is a lot of fun. But, making networking phone calls, now that’s painful.

So, faced with not needing to sharpen our #2 pencils, it can be difficult to get going in the morning. After all, what is there to look forward to?

I, of course, operate on batteries, so whenever I feel like I am moving in slow motion, I just pop in a couple fresh “D” batteries, and I am off to the races! You on the other hand will have to find more normal approaches to getting your day started.

Of course there is always a newsletter waiting for you, but you need to do your review of the job leads as quickly as possible. Do a quick scan and cut and paste all items of interest to a new document, or if you prefer, block and print your selection. This way you will have a document to work from to speed your writing a reply.

(You are permitted to study the editorial, however. I do work very hard on them!)

Each and every day you need to have a plan of some kind. Plans can change, but if you give some thought over the weekend to what you would like to accomplish over the next week, you will find that it will provide a focus for your energy.

Don’t feel bad about scheduling some energy creating activities like an exercise program or meeting an old friend for breakfast or lunch. Gyms open pretty early and you can probably wait to read the evening newsletter until you get back. There is nothing like 30 minutes on the treadmill to get your heart beating at a proper pace, and to get some adrenalin in your blood stream! Meeting old friends doesn’t hurt either. Even though these may not be folks important to your job search, they do care about you, and knowing you have a fan club out there rooting for you can really help.

If you are faced with a day of phone calls, be sure to start with a few easy ones first. Being rejected early in the day can ruin a good 8 hour run. If need be, start with a few other members of The FENG. They tend to be a cheerful lot and always eager to help. Your chances of having someone hang up on you, or someone be rude to you is much lower with other members of our circle of friends.

Although we don’t get to do many spreadsheets during a job search, we do generally get to play with computers, so there is some fun to look forward to. If you didn’t get to do much “hands on” stuff when you were out in the world of work, use free time during the day to learn the basic programs of Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Access. They really are pretty easy to learn, and you will need these hands on skills in most smaller firms. (Not many secretaries or staff around these days.)

The most important thing to do is find ways to keep yourself fired up. There is nothing worse than talking to someone who is down in the dumps or lethargic.

Like the Energizer bunny, if you find yourself getting a little run down, go out and get some fresh batteries. They are available everywhere. You just have to find the ones that are right for you.

Regards, Matt

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