Separating from my employer created a whirlwind of change, most of which I was prepared. The one thing I had not considered was the loss of my corporate integrated calendar. Most of us manage our days and meetings and life to an extent through an integrated calendar with email, the ability to save links, reminders all those “taken for granted” elements we so subtly use to manage our day with structure. Sure like many millions of others I have a calendar on my phone, but it had not been well linked to my desktop and personal email because it hadn’t been needed. As I began both my job search and taking the time for career coaching, outplacement services and learning opportunities I knew something was missing. Then it happened, my very punctual, always prepared persona, missed a meeting. It wasn’t anything critical, it was a class setting so not a travesty like missing an interview or a deadline, but to me, it reinforced that missing element of daily life, a proper schedule. I wasn’t myself.
I had been committing my post-employment schedule to memory and a few phone entries for critical to-do’s, but I hadn’t been keeping a regimented daily plan, after three weeks I realized I need something more substantial. Enter my quick fix Google Calendar, it integrates nicely with my phone, syncing up entries from the desktop to the phone and vice versa, provided ample room for notes and links and phone numbers and configurable notifications. I am sure I will find a better tool over time, but this is free, works well and most importantly, I was organized again.
There is a very true, common saying that when you are out of work, your full-time job is seeking employment. Part of that truism is the need to stay organized, keeping a stringently managed, structured day is critical. You feel better, you are able to identify openings in your day to fit in another webinar, reach out or extend your network, learn something new.
There are many of us looking for the right, next opportunity part of finding it, is to stay on track and stay organized, it is easy in that time between to lose some of your normal organization, don’t! I strongly urge you to keep that structure and planning as part of your day. It not only keeps you on track, efficient and effective, but it bridges the old routine, to the new routine.