I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Poor Person's Day to Day Guide: Week Two

I'm back to help with Week Two. I try not to give you to many tasks to complete in one day but we don't want you sitting around the house depressed - eating your weight in ice cream. If you missed the Week One of the Poor Person's Guide..., it can be found here. Lets review the next steps.
8. Day Eight -Task One: Get a bus pass. Seriously, leave the car at home. This is not just to save on gas (you will). I know "Spendthrift the bus is slow and dirty and..." You have time, take some hand sanitizer and a travel pack of Wet wipes.
Task Two: Call your insurance company and let them know you have reduced the mileage you drive every day. If possible raise your deductible to hopefully lower payments.
Task Three: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied for a day.
Remember when I told you to cry on Day one? If you need to schedule some pity time, do it this day.
Task Four: Start planning your meals out for the week, this will help you save money. Begin cooking dinner early in the day. It is a great way to take a break from the Job Search.


9. Day Nine -Task One: Clean up your Internet profile. Go look at your Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. Are there inappropriate pictures? Think of it this way would you like your grandmother to see this? If you bowed your head in shame. Clean it up. Remove photos, raunchy or rude text messages, overly political diatribes.
Task Two: Get an email that has your name and your name only - firstname.lastname@internet.com. No blackcherry69@internet.com or honeybabylicker@internet.com or rudedude@internet.com.
Task Three: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied for a day.
Task Four: Set up a workspace, like an office this will keep you in a good mind set. Lounging in your pajamas gives you a relaxed impression and you relax too much not focusing on the task at hand.


10. Day Ten - Task One: Work the phones. Call your contacts. All of your contacts. Most people get a job because they know someone who knows someone. Let everyone know that you are looking. My friends would email me jobs. Many of these would be jobs at their place of employment or a sister/brother company. Send your resume to them, they can circulate it just like you can. Think of your job search as an octopus, the more tentacles you have out the quicker you can snag something.
Task Two: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied per day.
Task Three: Clip coupons (don't say you don't have time). Quick sidebar - if you qualified for food stamps you can still use coupons. Stretch your bucks as far as you can.
Task Four
: Plan your grocery list around the meals you have already planned from Day Eight.


11. Day Eleven - Task One: Set up alerts with the different Job Boards - Hot Jobs, Monster, local specific sites as well like LittleRockHelpWanted.com, etc... If you can have the alert sent weekly, try to have each site's alert arrive on a different day. If you get alerts everyday from every site you will be overwhelmed. Many of the sites may repeat jobs in a daily alert; a once a week alert will give you a good sampling and hopefully no repeats.
Task Two: Go join other social networking sites that will help you find people in your industry or the industry you are trying to get in.
Task Three: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied per day.
Task Four: Get library books on frugality, cooking, and personal finance, yes personal finance. A lighthearted movie about job loss won't hurt. These are classics.





12. Day Twelve - Task One: Review your wardrobe. Do you have a traditional suit for interviews? Black, Gray, Blue or other subdued colors. Good shoes. Matching socks. Clean shirts? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have...
Task Two: Evaluate your image in the mirror. Do you look employable? Have visible tattoos? Piercings? Green hair? Employers will be wading through waist deep piles of applicants; they will be even more critical about appearance. Don't let a nontraditional look hold you back in the interview process. Once you are hired, finished your probationary period, then go back to your non-traditional look.
Task Three: Find a way to burn some energy. Go for a walk, run, jog or get an exercise video from the library.
Task Four: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied per day.


13. Day Thirteen - Task One: Start prepping for interviews. Think of what prospective HR people will be asking you both general and specific. Come up with an original answer to the dreaded "Tell me about yourself". Find a good reason why you want to work for Company XYZ. There are many sites that have a good list of interview questions like this set here at About.com.
Task Two: Use this time to get organized. Create a daily To Do List. Also, focus on your home. What is cluttered and/or dirty? Your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom all have extra stuff that you can clean out.
Task Three: Follow up with any outstanding appointments (temporary staffing agencies) you may have had: Make follow up calls to ______ .
Task Four: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied per day.


14. Day Fourteen - Task One: Evaluate your financial situation. What do you have coming in? Do you still have more going out than coming in? Have you heard from Food Stamps and Unemployment offices? Time to trim more off the rolls. Those cuts you didn't want to consider before will make you think a second time.
Task Two: Sit down and be honest with your kids, explain the financial situation. Don't just say 'I don't have a job.' 'Say "it costs $4,300 to run this house. I have $1,600 in the bank. We will receive $1,400 in unemployment. We qualify for these services..." Let them do the math, the numbers will seem more concrete than "we need to cut back." They will see the need to turn off things in the house, to cut back. Tell them some things may have to be suspended like lessons - I know it will hurt to tell them no more lessons, but you are the parent. Don't stress yourself more than you will need to by keeping these lessons going. You are setting a good example by showing them to you don't keep spending when you can't afford it. A hard financial lesson to learn but necessary.
Task Three: Continue meeting your goal of XX jobs applied per day.
I would like to tell you not to worry but I have been there and I am a worrier by nature. I know you will worry. I know you will be on edge - I have been there, unsure about when I will get work, if I will get work, in fact I have been there more than once.
You have a game plan. You are making progress. I will give you Week Three next Monday.

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