Staying Positive: The 10 Steps to Jobless Survival Update

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Every time the phone rings, my ears perk up. Every time my computer dings I hope it’s the lead I need to that next amazing job.

It just hasn’t happened yet.

Well, I do have one probable consulting gig that should start soon. It’s just a matter of when. And hopefully it will lead to more. But beyond that, I’m still searching and waiting for that call.

[Side Note: If you’re interested in working in the insurance industry or helping some random dude sell his company so that you can make millions, this is a good market for you!]

I’m not going to lie to you. This is hard. I wrote the 10 Steps to Jobless Survival when I was a mere baby in unemployment. I don’t think I realized when I wrote it how hard it would be.

But, amazingly, I seemed to know what I was talking about. Here’s an update on how I’m doing…

1) Keep structure.
I’m doing okay with this, but I could do better. I think it would help to set aside specific times in the day to work on certain networks (LinkedIn), tasks (job applications, networking/setting up meetings, blogging) and relaxation. In a typical day, I do it all, but the prospect of it is overwhelming because it still lacks structure. So this is a work in progress.

2) Network.
I’m doing this. I went to the Rodizio Grill Tweetup yesterday and met some interesting people. I’ve had a couple of coffee meetings and will be going to another on Thursday. I’m reaching out to people on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I’m going to try to attend more events, but of course budget is always a concern here.

3) Go crazy social.
I give myself a good grade here. It’s what I do, my friend. I’ve had some success with this website largely because of my Facebook network. The Uncheck Comments and Likes post got more views than I ever dreamed it would get, and it was all because my friends shared it and their friends shared it and their friends shared it… I would like to dive into my @JonLoomer Twitter account a little more than I have, but there are only so many hours in a day.

4) Set aside time to relax.
I need more “dead” time when I do nothing but rest my thoughts. My relaxation right now is finding 20-30 minutes to play Wii Sports Baseball. Don’t judge me! It’s a brainless game with no strategy whatsoever. It allows me to yell at the TV when my little dudes drop baseballs for no apparent reason. And it gets my mind off of stuff.

5) Find a physical release (GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!)
I’m still running. A couple of weeks ago I ran the longest distance of my life (almost a 10k). Considering I had never run much more than a mile until this year, that was quite an accomplishment. Since then, though, I’m down to running one or two times per week, and I seem to be losing a little steam. Either way, I just need to get out of the house more, and I’m sure my wife would agree!

6) Do stuff that makes you feel good, and don’t feel guilty about it.

Moneyball Movie

My wife actually liked Moneyball. Although, I guess it may have had something to do with this dude.

My wife and I went to see Moneyball a couple of days ago. Good movie. It’s one of the few books I’ve read (I know, I know, I’m just not much of a reader), and as you probably know I’m a huge baseball fan. My sons and I also played some baseball at the park last weekend.

I love doing this. It takes me back to my childhood. I’m the all-time pitcher and my two oldest sons get a handful of their friends to play. We play as many innings as we can before their mother yells at us to stop. I’ll typically pitch differently to each kid depending on his ability level, but I’m always trying to strike the dudes out. I have pride.

7) Be realistic.
I am. I know it’s a tough market. I know a lot of people are in my same situation. It doesn’t make this much easier, but I get that it’s not necessarily the case that I’m doing anything wrong, and there’s just so much that I can do in a day. This site has been a huge success, so I can’t be disappointed. I just need to keep pushing on.

8) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
This wasn’t much of an issue until recently. In the beginning, I saw the big picture. I lost my job, stuff happens, I’ll find another one. If it doesn’t come right away, it’ll come eventually. But now there’s a sense of urgency. I need to find something. And there’s not much time.

This is dangerous, and I know it. Putting pressure on myself does not help. It makes it harder. So I think I need to start putting more emphasis on relaxing and doing things that make me feel good to help counter this.

9) Don’t be ashamed.
You know, I think I’m doing okay here. The fact that I’m laying this all out in a blog post is a sign of that. When I went to the tweetup yesterday, it wasn’t a networking thing for people to find a job. I sat with a bunch of bloggers and marketers who had jobs. But I was perfectly comfortable talking about my situation. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do…

9a) Be honest with yourself and those close to you.
Being open is important. My wife is awesome and has been very supportive in this. She’s basically been my business manager. Not only does she help spread my blog around Facebook, but she sends me a constant stream of interesting jobs for me to look at. Without an open dialog, this may not be the case. Couldn’t get through this without her!

10) Remember what’s important.
Yep, I definitely do. The main thing I try to do is block any of these concerns from my mind when interacting with my three amazing boys. They are what is truly important (don’t get misty-eyed! Don’t do it!). There’s no reason to let this get me down to the point where it impacts my relationship with them. So I think I do a good job of separating myself. And it’s those boys who keep me driven more than anything else.

In Conclusion

Do I still have stuff to work on? Absolutely. I’m like anyone else in this predicament. Just taking one day at a time, trying to stay fresh and motivated and creative, making sure to keep connected with others. Most importantly, however, staying positive.

It’ll come. It always does.