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Set Up a Home Office for Your Job Search

Job searching is almost a full-time job. And if you were running a small business from your home or apartment, you’d need a home office. So why not set up a home office to run your job search? Doing so helps you stay focused during tasks and reminds your family that you’re not just playing around on the computer; you’re busy finding work and can’t be disturbed right now.

Following are some basic rules to consider as you set up and begin using your home office for your job search:

  • Work in a separate space from the rest of your house. If you don’t have a spare room, then put up a curtain or separators in a corner of a room that’s free from the usual hustle and bustle.

  • Establish boundaries with the people you live with. If you have a door to the room you’re working in, then when that door’s shut, it means that you’re not to be disturbed. If you don’t have a door, make a sign to show that you’re busy.

  • Get out of your pajamas and into your work clothes. It sounds silly, but many people who work from home swear they get more done by dressing the part. If you’re currently employed, this may mean that instead of changing into those comfy sweats right when you get home from the office, you opt for something that keeps you focused and in work mode.

  • Keep your work area well lit and clean. Dark and messy places put up a psychological barrier. When you think about getting to work on your job search, you want a positive, clear-thinking feeling to arise, not a dark, disorganized one.

  • Use folders to file paperwork at least once a week. Store these files below your desk or table. You want only things on your desk that you’re currently working on.

  • Schedule your work time as if it were a job. Tell yourself and your family supporters that during the same time every day, you’re working on your job search. Scheduling time every day, whether it be a couple of hours or a full day’s worth, ensures that you spend adequate time working on finding that dream job.

  • Avoid checking your e-mail first thing in the morning. E-mail overload is a huge problem, and e-mails typically sidetrack you from doing the task you’ve set out to do. Check e-mail at only two or three scheduled times during the day and don’t spend more than 25 minutes at a time reviewing your messages.

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