Go Outside & Do Your Job Search

By Joe Stein

It is August and still summer time in Western New York, the time of year most of us long to be outdoors enjoying the beauty of the season.  It is a challenge, however, when a person is conducting a job search and, therefore, feels an obligation to stay inside.  It is similar to when (in your youth) it was a beautiful May or early June day, and you were saddled with homework or studying.

The situation, however, does not need to be an unsolvable dilemma for you.  I have written many times in these pages that an employment search should be like a full-time job, especially if you are unemployed.  For many, that means being stuck in front of your computer searching online boards, doing social networking and making phone calls from your landline.  All of these activities have benefits (especially that online board thing…make sure to check out www.wnyjobs.com daily), but you can also add value to your search by leaving the house or apartment and going outside.

How is that possible…isn’t that goofing off?  Not necessarily, not if your trip outside can actually assist you in your search.   Let’s now review some activities you can do outside, and explain how it can improve your objective of finding a new job.

• Take a Walk – Why not, on a nice summer day or evening go out for a walk?  Not only will you receive the physical benefits of the exercise, but you can also relax your mind.  When you are back from the walk, you should find yourself recharged and ready to resume your search.  For some, you actually may find yourself doing your best thinking while outside walking (or any type of exercise such as jogging, or bike riding).  Escaping the walls of your dwelling may stimulate some creativity and allow you to think of something differently or more clearly than before.

• Make an Appointment – Now can be a great time to catch up with old colleagues in your network.  Why just settle for a phone call when you can connect, perhaps, for a coffee (or other beverage of your choice)?  You get the benefit of the networking activity and the enjoyment of being outside.  Just don’t forget to mention your current job search and your appreciation for any leads.

• Attend a Job/Career Fair – These events are not just for the depths of winter.  A quick glance of the www.wnyjobs.com website lists a number of Job/Career Fairs in the upcoming weeks.  So, print some fresh Resumes, dress professionally, and head out outside.  You can attend the event, meet some Recruiters, and then (perhaps) have a little time to yourself afterwards to enjoy some sunshine.

• Enjoy the Yard – If you are in a situation where you have a backyard, then why not take your search out there one day.  If you have a WiFi connection in your home and a portable phone (even a mobile if you have a great signal), you can be productive and enjoy the weather.  A word of caution, however, would be to stop and bring your work back inside if the scenery becomes too distracting.  Also, bring your phone calls inside if you have noise in the background (dogs barking, car horns going off, etc.) that will make a conversation difficult.

• Go Volunteer – Schedule some time to leave your home and volunteer.  You should even be able to find some options that will allow you stay outside for the time you donate. Volunteering will not only assist a local agency, but provide a rewarding experience for you.  It may also impress an Interviewer if he or she asks you what you have been doing this summer, especially if you are applying with a locally civic-minded company.

• Be Seen – There are many popular events in Western New York that draw a large crowd.  I know every year while attending the County Fair, I run into people I have not seen or even thought about in years.  It generally is great to reconnect with people from the past and also could provide you with an opportunity to expand your job search networking scope.  You won’t have that type of experience if all you do is send e-mails from your home.

A savvy Job Seeker seeks a well-rounded approach to his or her job search.  Not only different methods can be explored, but also an inside and outside approach should prove beneficial.  You may find that not only do you land the job you have been looking for, but you did it without missing out on a great Western New York summer!

As always, best of luck in your job search!