Staying in Game Shape between Jobs
During a recent networking outing, I had an engaging conversation with a job seeker (for the sake of this blog, let’s just call her Eve). Eve had recently received her third layoff notice in five years. Faced with escalating bills, a mortgage, and a twenty-something recent college graduate under her roof, Eve needed to find a job soon. She wanted to transition into another field, bringing along the host of skills and key professional attributes that made her a successful commodity in the workforce the past 25 years.
Eve went on to tell me that she was not sleeping well due to the anxiety surrounding her unemployment and concern that her age might work against her. Eve was starting to sound like a person on the verge of depression, which is common for many who are facing unemployment dilemmas.
I asked Eve how she was spending her time now that she was unemployed. She told me that she was pouring most of her time into her job search, while using the rest to catch up with old friends and family. Aside from an occasional stroll in the park, she had not engaged in much fitness activity.
I explained to Eve that elevating her fitness level could help her to cope with current problems and make her more appealing to potential employees. Plus, the extra energy and vigor would provide an extra kick to her job search. The positive benefits of a smart diet and moderate exercise are irrefutable.
Most companies are concerned with the escalating cost of medical coverage. These companies are frequently dealing with cutbacks in staffing, so it behooves them to place extra credence on hiring employees who exhibit a healthy, vibrant, and energetic disposition.
Take advantage of the extra time
There is no better time to concentrate on your overall level of fitness than when you are in between job assignments. I went through a transitional stretch several years back and can state with authority, that my commitment to fitness was essential in helping me to maintain the proper mindset to get through it. I even added additional sports-related activities to my schedule to occupy the extra time I had on my hands. Those extra activities served as an excellent buffer from the stress and strains of an exhaustive job search.
Joining a sports league or recreational group is not only cathartic, but can serve as an excellent opportunity to network.. I always made it a point to let everyone at my gym or intramural sporting events, know that I was seeking professional opportunities.
Money can be tight for those in between jobs. There are inexpensive options to consider. Many of the large fitness chains are now promoting month-to-month payment options, so you won’t be forced to lock yourself into a long term contract situation. The YMCA even offers daily rates at most of to their facilities and offers tons of various fitness-related programs.
Another option is to invest in a few pieces of equipment to exercise at home, but I strongly encourage options to get you away from the house and into the presence of others. The personal interaction will do you a world of good.
Always remember the better you feel about yourself, the more confident you’ll appear to potential employers.
Good luck and keep your head in the game.