Saturday, July 7, 2012

Using Springpad as a Job seeker

This is part 4 of the 7 part series, "Getting Organized when you're Not a Business-Man or Soccer-Mom"!

With the unemployment rate at 8.1% as of April 2012( and at about 7% worldwide(LA Times), times are tough and many people aren't leaving their jobs because of the fear of being unable to find new ones. It's also hard to find a good job to begin with because of the economic problems. Regardless of your political ideologies and how this whole thing is handled, if you need a job, you need it NOW.

Note in case my boss is reading this: I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB. I very much enjoy my job; this post is to help educate others whom are trying to organize their job-search so they can get jobs even half as awesome. :)
If you don't care about my backstory, scroll down to the bold text at the bottom of this "wall of text".

I was really good at finding jobs after I got laid off from my first job, but never really found anything sustainable. That said, there's not too much around where I live aside from farming, manufacturing, and part time student type jobs. I am also a college student that attends part time because I pay for all my stuff myself.

While I did get into a job with the field of my choice(manufacturing), when I was first laid off, I was losing track of information; not remembering dates, losing papers, forgetting names, etc. Needless to say, I was pretty scatterbrained.

I decided about a month after, instead of just saving numbers in my phone and trying to remember stuff, I wold get organized! I downloaded Catch onto my android and started logging things for my job hunt from there but photos would take FOREVER to sync! Then I did some research in later months and found Springpad. Towards the end of my job-hunt I moved to Evernote, but I would have probably been better off with Springpad, had I found the method of GTD and used notebooks a bit better. I moved back to Springpad early this year.

Then, my boyfriend was trying to switch jobs and I made a shared notebook for him; he even said himself, the program seemed useful when I pressured him into using it(confession!). I could tell he wasn't using Evernote(he has it downloaded) because he was losing information like I used to(I'd overheard his dad nagging him about losing an important number). In this shared notebook he did have to worry about me nagging him about calling people back because I didn't want to see stuff in my task list that wasn't on my personal to-do! He has worked at his new job for about a month and a half now.

I learned a lot in that 9 months of un/under-employment, and hopefully this guide will be of use to you.

So let's go through this step by step, shall we? You will need a Job Hunt Notebook. If you like, feel free to use this Demo, and modify it to your particular needs:

We will be going through this alphabetically! Not everything has an image, however.

A: First write up a checklist of things you will need to do as a priority. If I was looking for a job, I'd want to do all of the things in this list. NOTE: When I was looking for a job, I thought it would be gross and cliche to make a linkedin account. Only now that I've been in my job for ~7 months did I join some groups on there. I will note some of them are more than eager to hire people via that site, so Linkedin is an AMAZING first place to look if you're not against potentially moving!

The phone book is awesome because you can ensure you call a lot of businesses without having to use a lot of fuel. You might want to get an unlimited minutes plan through! I went over on mine several times when looking(you could get away with 1,000 minutes, I only have the 300 minutes plan)!
Also, sharpies aren't encouraged, you'll blot out other numbers! Those corrective tapes work great for this, and you can see the other side of the page in your phone book.

B: Now you want to brush up your resume and attach a document file version of it. I've had to email people it at temp agencies when they needed it suddenly for a potential serious job. It's nice to have that document right there, without worrying about having the outdated copy on hand.

C: These are webclippings of tips and ideas you will find pertaining to your job-hunt.

D: First step of being an active job-hunter! First scope out the places you would LIKE to work, then make tasks for finding if they have openings. If they do, get an application(if you can get a physical one) then make a task to...

E: Make tasks to fill out the applications for the places that have openings. If it's a PDF or website that it's on, you'll want to attach that information, and if it's paper, make sure you have your paper documents in order! You'll want to be able to find it quickly!
I Googled Taco Shack; turns out there's one in Texas so I pasted in their number for demo purposes.

F: After you turn in that application, you will want to follow up about a week afterwards. Make sure right after you turn it in that you make that new task! It's helpful to attach the phone number of the business so you can just tap it if you're out and about or waiting in a drive-thru or whatever else!

G: Did you finally get that interview? Awesome! Now make a task on what day, time, set a reminder to your phone(with about 20 extra minutes for getting there to drive) and paste in the address if you've never actually driven there before. Then you can simply do the same thing as the calling, only with navigation! You want to make sure this will work first.
This is a phone I setup for a friend, I'm playing with ROMs my Triumph, lol.
And SURPRISE! I'm throwing in an H, that you would not have seen in the initial screenshot.
If you have an android, make a dedicated widget for this notebook, sorting by Date. This is something I love about Springpad. You can see everything at a glance, and your To-Do's specifically pertaining to your job search.

Of course this won't help you with being plain nervous at your interviews, or bump up your credentials, but knowing that you have everything organized, and in one place that you can find your next course of action via your phone in under 5 seconds(your phone's speed may vary), that's a peace of mind that should shine through.

And also, in your downtime, to help keep you from getting the "I don't have a job" blues, clean and organize your house, and Ebay/Craigslist any stuff you don't need. Organize all those extra files, and you will feel GREAT being super organized- like you're pumped and ready to take on nearly anything!

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