Wake up. Attack inbox, email contacts, make breakfast to WCBS 880. Read paper. Research, follow yesterday’s job leads. Check for and apply to newly listed positions. Go to gym, eat lunch while reading book on blogging. Head to library, steal their electricity, use free wi-fi for hours while doing freelance work, tons of writing, reading and more applying. Boy, can this job search routine get old real fast.
Getting out of a job search rut is like trying to find a cure for writer’s block—difficult, time consuming and frustrating. So to shake up my routine and get my creative juices flowing, I like to do some good ol’ writing exercises.
If you find yourself stuck in a rut, try these two creative workouts today:
1- The Visual Workout
A- Go through that pile of magazines you haven’t gotten to because you’ve been so busy doing freelance work and job searching.
B- Find an image/ad/picture that is really appealing to you.
C- Examine it and think about why it strikes you for one minute.
D- Write about it for at least 10 minutes. Write about all the details, the lighting, the design; give a story line to the people in it (if there are any) and make sure you get through the standard who, what, when where, why, how routine.
The Payoff: You got to go through your magazines and take a needed (but still useful) break. And if you can write about an image you had no prior knowledge of for at least ten minutes, your brain is ready and willing to take on other new subject matter (like crafting an eye-catching email subject line).
A- Grab a pen and paper, we are going old school for this one.
B- Write a mini memoir—your life, in six words. It can be a sentence or just six individual words.
C- Do not jot down all the words that come to mind and just pick six.
D- Really take your time with this exercise. Make some tea, get inside your head and take a look around. What’s there?
The Payoff: You just traveled a mini journey of self-discovery. Maybe you learned a little something about yourself along the way. Analyze your sentence or words. Do any of them have to do with your career? (It’s absolutely fine if they don’t.) Because you were only able to use six words, your mind should really be amped up now and ready to tackle the rest of your day. This one is also great because life is always changing, therefore you can always revisit this exercise. Plus, it’s interesting to keep these around and take a look at them now and again and see what has changed in your life.