Photo credit: @mikeyharris on unsplash
Many people are still working from home, at least some of the time. They will have often been sent the correct equipment, be set up with all the software required, and have regular meetings with others.
What if you’re not working and are applying for jobs from home? How can you do this effectively?
Here are my top tips.
Choose your space and time
Don’t apply for jobs whilst on the sofa with the TV on, or in bed.
Get dressed and find a dedicated space if you can with plenty of natural light e.g., a desk or dining/kitchen table.
Adding house plants and a scented candle can make your desk more pleasant to sit at.
Try your best to ensure you’re comfortable with the right height table and chair. Here are the NHS guidelines on How to sit at your desk correctly – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
You know when you work best – I’m a morning person so once the children have left for school and the house is tidy, I aim to be sitting at my desk by 9am. Try to stick to a routine.
The 10-minute rule
I’m a real fan of this. If I have a task I’ve been putting off, I use this rule.
Set a time and spend ten minutes on a task e.g. writing a cover letter, and you’ll find that you either get it done in that time, have made a great start so feel more positive about it, or get to the end of the ten minutes and carry on as you’ve got into the right mindset.
Take regular breaks
This is important for two reasons – your productivity and mental health.
Go for a walk, hang out the washing, post a letter. My preference is to have a break outside to get some sunlight and fresh air. I appreciate this is harder when the weather isn’t so great but don your wellies and a coat and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you get home.
There are apps you can use to remind you to take breaks: 7 Free ‘Take A Break’ Reminders – Relieve Tired Eyes And Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (geckoandfly.com)
Stay in touch
Maintain contact with others, professional and personal.
You know yourself best and how much time you need on your own or with others – ensure you’re getting the contact you need, be that on the phone, via Zoom or in person.
Don’t feel guilty about stepping away from online applications to walk to the local café to meet a friend.
As well as the health benefits, by maintaining your network, you never know where this will lead in terms of a job.
Choose a time you will stop applying for jobs from home and stick to it. Turn off your computer and put it out of sight if possible. Don’t be tempted to log back on to check for any updates, wait until tomorrow.