Even if You’re Unemployed…
Your time is still valuable
We all know the adage: “time is money.” But it’s easy to forget this if we’re not employed and not currently making any money. Furthermore, it’s painful to think about spending money/time on job seeking activities that don’t pan out. However, it’s critical that you approach your job seeking as though your time has a monetary value.
Why This Matters:
1) Focus and productivity
Thinking about your time as money means that you will focus harder on job seeking. Each time you submit a resume, scroll Indeed, and drive to an interview, you’ll think to yourself: is this activity worth $XXX / hour? And while much of this activity will not actually yield results, thinking of it this way will help ensure that as little time is wasted as possible. The pain of money lost and the sunk cost focuses us and drives us to do better.
If you’re at work and making money, you are more likely to behave professionally. This means proofreading emails, connecting with people on LinkedIn, sending thank you notes, and even making small talk with the people you meet. When we don’t treat ourselves as “on the clock” we might let our guard down–but don’t! Remember: everyone you are interacting with is at work and they expect you to behave the same way.
3) Self worth
When you lose your job, a small part of your identity goes with it. Many of us are at least partially defined by “what we do” and when we “don’t do anything”…who are we? When you think of your time as valuable, you are protecting your self worth. You may not have a job right now but your time and your attention is still valuable and you are still valuable.
4) Business decisions
All of us are a small businesses. We are renting ourselves and our time out to our employer and expecting fair compensation and treatment in return. Sometimes we can get lost in the emotional roller coaster of job offers. Perhaps we find out the compensation will not be as much as we expected? Or maybe we discover the benefits are lackluster? Maybe we meet a few future co-workers and realize that they’re not excited about working there? Thinking of yourself as a business cushions the emotional highs and lows boils these decisions down to a math equation. Furthermore, it helps you be able to engage confidently in offer negotiations if you already know your hourly worth.