September 27, 2023


By Alex Harrington, Chair & Founder

“When I was thirteen, my father lost his job. He was hardly alone: this was in the early 1980s in the UK, and he worked in manufacturing. It took months for him to find work. Each morning he would appear at the breakfast table, freshly showered, in a shirt and tie. Then he would go to his desk to check for new job postings and send out résumés. One day I asked him, ‘Why do you still dress so smartly when you don’t have a job to go to?’ He looked at me and said, ‘I do still have a job. My job is to get another job so I can take care of all of you.’ I’ll never forget that moment. I saw, for the first time, that Dad’s job wasn’t just that mysterious thing he went off to do every morning. It was a manifestation of the relationship of care between him and the rest of the family.” (What Men Are For: When Lone Ranger Masculinity Bottoms Out)

This narrative underscores a crucial principle that many overlook during their period of unemployment. If you’re unemployed, your job is to find a job. Just like any other role, it demands dedication, commitment, and a full-time investment.

Here’s why dedicating 40 hours a week to your job search, and treating it like your 9-to-5, is so vital:

1. Consistency Creates Momentum.

Job searching is not a one-time task but a continuous process. Actively looking for positions, networking, attending workshops or webinars, and tailoring your applications are tasks that need to be done daily. This consistency not only keeps you updated with the latest opportunities but also ensures you are always ready for that next interview or call.

2. Structure Reduces Stress.

Unemployment can be emotionally draining. Without a routine, days can blur together, leading to feelings of hopelessness and inefficiency. However, sticking to a structured schedule, similar to a regular working day, can provide a sense of purpose. Just as the father from the narrative dressed up each day, it can help maintain a positive mindset.

3. Avoid Common Job-Search Blunders.

In a recent blog, How to Avoid These Top 3 Job Search Blunders, I mentioned that some common mistakes jobseekers make include not tailoring their résumé for each position, failing to network effectively, and not adequately preparing for interviews. Committing a set number of hours each day can help you address and avoid these blunders. For example, you can allocate specific hours for networking, résumé editing, and interview prep, ensuring that each aspect of the job search gets its due attention.

4. Sharpen Skills and Learn.

Unemployment can be a golden period to acquire new skills. By setting aside time each week, you can take up online courses, attend workshops, or even volunteer to keep your skills honed and up to date; in fact, volunteering is a great way to prevent unemployment gaps on your résumé.

5. Cultivate Relationships.

Networking isn’t just about finding the next job. It’s about cultivating relationships that might benefit you throughout your career. Dedicating time to connect with industry peers, attending virtual meetups, or engaging on professional platforms can open doors to unadvertised positions and provide insights that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

There you have it! Job searching is a job in itself!

While it’s essential to keep the end goal in mind, it’s equally vital to remember the process and the dedication it demands. Your commitment to the job search is a reflection of your commitment to your future role. So, clock in your hours, put in the effort, and watch opportunities come your way.

About FCC, Inc.

Federal Career Connection, Inc. is an all-volunteer program. It consists of a cadre of federal insiders and workforce development experts, including hiring managers and trainers, whose mission is to increase awareness and participation of public, national, military, or other federal service professions for individuals who have a calling to serve.‍

To stay up to date on FCC, Inc., please visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and sign up for our events and much more through our partner organization Career Network Ministry’s Meetup page. You can also support us financially or volunteer with us.

Editorial Note: All the information in this blog is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. The text of this blog was supported by ChatGPT (2023-09-23). OpenAI Blog does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find in this blog, is strictly at your own risk. FCC Inc. will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of this blog.

Alex Harrington
Chair & Founder
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