June 19, 2009— -- The recession has changed the lifestyle of the Bell family of Houston, Texas. Latavious Bell, a computer engineer, has been out of work for two months and the family's household income is down 75 percent.
You better start sweating being out of work. If you don't, six weeks turns into six months before you know it. Set a firm deadline, and it's a deadline of two weeks from now. Two weeks from now, you are either going to have made more progress toward finding the job that you really want or you are going to have to come up with a Plan B. What kind of jobs are you willing to go after that are just going to generate some money? What are the survival jobs that you are willing to pursue? And within the next two weeks, that has to be put down on paper.
You're putting your resume on the big job and hoping that somebody is going to find you. You might be a fabulous candidate, but you are going to be lost in that big black hole. Simply applying online is not enough. Someone's not necessarily going to find that resume online, so lessen your reliance on the Internet and emphasize your reliance on direct conversation with people. Apply for 20 jobs a day.
In addition to applying for 20 jobs a day, you need to make five phone calls. Follow up on those resumes to put a name to the place that you are applying to.
Set a certain amount of time you spend looking for a job, and it really has to be the bulk of your day. Finding a job is your full-time job right now. You can't have a lag time of someone asking for your resume yesterday and getting it today. It's got to be instant. You have to be constantly checking your e-mail. You have to be working the phones.
It's important to have some accountability. You might join a job club and be accountable to people whom you meet with once a week to be able to exchange leads and talk about strategies. There has to be some kind of accountability on a daily and weekly basis, like creating a job journal, in which every day you write down all of the places you applied to so you can follow up. In this journal, you can track all of the people that you talked to, what they said and when you need to follow up.