In Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Mr. Kramer, played by Dustin Hoffman, is in a bit of a pickle. His lowlife boss lays him off right before the major custody battle for his son.
He is certain that the fact that he is unemployed will negatively affect his chances at gaining custody of his beloved son. So, he springs into action. He puts on a suit and buys a newspaper. He circles every possible job that he could do and badgers a man in job placement until he gets him at an interview at a firm.
Ultimately, Mr. Kramer gets the job.
Your job search may not feel as critically important, with a child depending upon your immediately fruitful job search. You may still have some money in the bank. You may prefer to go about your job search in an organic, holistic way.
Plenty of us are not the types to act aggressively in our daily lives, but the persona of Mr. Kramer might be a character worth embodying on occasion.
Look at the calendar and create some Take Action Days. Circle three days a month when you push yourself to take action to end your unemployment.
These are days when you do not futz with your resume or investigate how getting a further degree will benefit your long-term career. (Perfectly great things to do any other day!)
These are days when you take action.
Here are some things you might want to do on these days:
- Show up and ask to speak to the manager
- Talk to the receptionist at a place that you want to work and ask them how to land a job there
- Extract information about the hiring practices at your coveted place of work
- Call someone who is not expecting to hear from you
- Make a lasting impression on a recruiter
- Propose a date for an interview
- Call back a place that never called you back and try to speak to someone else
- Ask for an informational interview
- Swagger into a room
These aren’t pleasant or necessary things to do everyday. But it’s a good idea to push yourself a few times a month– keeps the blood moving and stretches out your business suit.
The only way to do this is to impose some deadlines on yourself.
You know that you are the inventor of these deadlines, so it will take every ounce of your imagination to stick to these Take Action Days.
I have a friend who has a hard time waking up in the morning. She has a rule that she must wake up by the count of three once she starts saying the numbers aloud. She claims that if she does not wake up by the third count, she is disgracing her family. No one else is there to witness this, but she claims that it works.
Similarly, you need to imagine that it is somehow critical to carpe diem on those Take Action Days of your choice. Just remember, the next day, you can do whatever you really enjoy. Like watching Dustin Hoffman movies.