How to Maintain Work-Life Balance

You are unemployed. You can’t find the happy medium, the middle ground. You bounce between being hopeless and hopeful. Some hours you are driven and ready to tackle the job search while other days you nap in the park all day. According to the State of California’s Employee Development Department on Aug. 19, 2011, 10.5 percent of San Diego residents, 12.4 percent of Californians, and 9.3 percent of Americans are unemployed. Even when you are jobless, you must strive to keep a balance. But how can you possibly maintain work-life balance when you aren’t working?

First, consider your time. If you were at work, you would spend four hours of your morning working, take a lunch break and then continue working another four hours. (For this example, let’s use ideal work hours not the 12-hour days you had been working.) During the week, use the 40 hours you would be working to land your next job. Wake up as if you are going to work, get ready, have your morning coffee and hit the ground running by searching for jobs, researching industries and companies and connecting with your network. Try not to do everything online; a phone call goes a long way. Instead of hurriedly eating lunch at your desk or at the deli closest to your previous workplace, join friends or family for lunch. If you spent too many hours at the office and too few at the gym, use your lunch break to work out. If you didn’t work, use your free time to exercise in the park.

How can you manage time? What are you willing to give up? If you are completely willing to give up Internet access, you can probably afford to cut out the entertainment and reading programs on TV. Also, peruse trade papers daily and check the stock price to see if companies in your field are sweating.

Some sacrifices, however, might be necessary. If you arcing frank talk with a previous employer, you might have to accept a lower position. If you have Compared your previous job and your new one, you may be able to accept a lesser title, such as “Business development tographer.” If you are planning to move to another city or town, there may be a significant loss of income.

However, some things will prevent you from losing your income completely. If you are planning to move to another city or town, you may have to wait a year or two until you can find your next job. Your resolve to find work will take longer than your first paycheck. However, if you are pursuing an overseas job, a little patience now may pay off in the long run.

Don’t feel trapped. The best time to look for a job is when you don’t have to. If you are unemployed and having difficulty finding work in your field, try to find a job in another field. You are probably fighting an uphill battle, but you will be stronger for your second job in the evening or at the weekend. Worse, you won’t have to worry about your bills, and you can begin to pay those unproductive expenses. You’ll be able to breathe easier with no credit card payments, utility bills, rent, car payment, or mortgage.

If your reaction is that you hate your second job, recognize that you have probably succeeded in turning down an opportunity to work. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to find another job. Assess your options by searching other avenues, such as internet job boards, in the newspaper, and through a job consultant. Keep as flexible and open-minded as possible. If your services are no longer required, cut back on your expenses so that you can create another source of income.

If you are able, take time off from work to make phone calls, write resumes, volunteer, or obtain education. You can take time off successfully, and your job search will come to a speedy conclusion.