As I’ve said many times, there isn’t a job waiting for you inside your home. It isn’t hiding under the carpet or in a closet. The jobs are out there in the big scary world. So, get out of your house.
To help you understand what a day outside of your house might look like, here’s an agenda. It happens to be my agenda.
4:30 – 6:30 am: Write blog post, respond and comment on blogs, check Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
This is my online networking time. I reach out to people, respond, connect with others in my field. I skim the feeds in my Google Reader and look for opportunities to comment or share great content with my network and followers. As I do this, I am learning new things, getting new ideas and trying to build some new relationships.
6:30 – 7:45 am: Family stuff (breakfast, pack lunches)
This goes without saying. Getting kids out the door and on the bus requires full attention.
7:45 – 9:00 am: Appointment @ coffee shop with First Name Last Name (could be a job seeker, past colleague, or other contact)
This meeting was set up at least a week ago. It has been on my calendar so I have had time to research the person and what we will be discussing. I know the gist of the conversation and what I hope to be able to help (usually). I also try to bring an article or have a contact name in mind before I leave the house. On my way to the coffee shop, I have to stop and get gas. I have to pre-pay INSIDE, which irks me. While waiting in line with one other person I make small talk. Weather, the wait, something simple. If I have seen the person before, which is pretty likely given that I visit the same gas station whenever I fill up, I give an extra warm hello, like I’m reconnecting with a distant family member. Once I’ve reached the clerk, I can make additional small talk. This clerk and I are on a first name basis (OK, he can read it off my card and I can read his name badge) but we see each other regularly enough to know something about each other. I ask questions about his shift and he provides all sorts of personal details which I file away. I arrive at the coffee shop 5 minutes early (on a good day) so I can get my coffee and sit down. Again, while waiting in line for the barista, there is an opportunity to chat with fellow line-waiters. I pick a seat that is somewhat public and look for people I might know. I watch the traffic in the coffee shop to see what people are doing. It always amazing me. You can learn a lot about people just by watching them. Then my appointment arrives.
9:00 – 10:30 am: Check email, voicemail, Twitter, read feeds
I have a bit of time to kill before my next scheduled appointment via phone. Again, this conversation was scheduled last week. I use this time to check into my virtual office. While I do this, I also check out the coffee shop to see who I may know or a friendly face.
10:30 – 11:30 am: Phone call with First Name Last Name while driving back home
I know, it is dangerous to talk and drive. I have hands-free equipment, so I am obeying New York State Law (thank you very much for your concern). Before I leave the parking lot, I make sure that I have reviewed my notes and am prepared for the conversation. At the end of the conversation, I review my action items and theirs so I’ll remember what I’m supposed to do.
11:30 – 1:30: Lunch with First Name Last Name
This lunch date was set up a couple of days ago. I am reconnecting with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. If I am at the restaraunt early enough, again, I try to look for someone to chat with. It could be the hostess, it could be someone else waiting for a seat. Much of the conversation is personal however, my friend does ask how I am doing and I tell her what I’ve been up to. She asks how she can help and I tell her about an upcoming event I have scheduled and ask if she could tell anyone who might be interested. She asked!
1:30 – 4:30 pm: Work
This is time when I prepare materials for upcoming presentations, research, write proposals, etc. It is the time I use to both take care of client requests as well as follow through on goals for my business. Some days this takes more time, other days, less time. I plan accordingly
4:30 – 5:15 pm: Pick up kids
My kids go to an after school program. Whenever I pick them up I run into parents I know, talk to teachers and aides in the program.
6:30 – 8:30 pm: Deliver presentation
No, I don’t have a presentation to deliver every day of the week. When I don’t have something scheduled, I try to attend some event, no, not every night of the week, but at least ONE night a week. There are certain groups that I know offer great programs and I get notification about many of them (because I added myself to their “mailing list”).
What you aren’t seeing on this daily agenda is the time I commit to volunteer with my church as well as some other professional organizations. Those meetings and events typically occur once or twice per month.
Every time you leave your house, you have an opportunity to meet someone one new. Seize that opportunity. And oh, by the way, I am a full-fledged INTROVERT!
What does your agenda look like? How many meetings do you try to schedule a week and with whom? Share!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.