Organizing Your Space
An important aspect of looking for work is space management. It seems obvious, but many job seekers attempt their searches without first organizing their work space, and their disorganization negatively affects their efforts.
The following tips can help you help yourself get organized and stay organized as you actively search for work.
- You need to designate a specific work space in your home where you will perform all of your job-seeking tasks: for example, reading about companies of interest and job leads, filling out applications and refining resumes for specific jobs, telephoning prospective employers to find out about job openings, setting appointments, following up after interviews, and so forth.
- You need a space that isn’t used by others in your household. Your materials and tools should be easily available to you when you are working on job hunting, and a workspace of your own means that your things aren’t going to be moved or damaged by others.
- You need a space with a minimum of distractions—in other words, away from television, radio, and other people!
- You need to assemble all of the tools you will use in your job search. A partial list of job seeking tools may include the following:
- a computer with word processing software and access to the Internet, as well as any assistive technology that you may need for access to the computer
- a printer
- a telephone
- paper and writing implements (pens, slate and stylus or a braillewriter)
- tape recording equipment
- calendar or day minder
- and a Rolodex or address book.
- You need to set up a filing system that you understand and will use to keep up with materials that you generate in your job search.
Your system may use traditional manila folders or electronic folders with references to hardcopy files that you store in paper folders, envelopes, or shoeboxes—whatever works for you. The key is to have a filing system, which has labels that make sense to you today and will make sense to you six months or six years from today.
For example, you may want files to capture information about job leads, about companies of interest to you that don’t have advertised positions but where you intend to make cold calls, listings of people in your network and how to reach them as well as notations about what they might be able to do for you, information you receive about vocational training programs, information about interviews that you have done and what you need to do to follow up, hard copies of past applications and resumes, and so forth.
- You may need to allow for space in your work area to work with sighted assistants.
For example, you may need help from a scribe (someone to write for you) to complete applications unavailable in an electronic format or someone to read print-only materials to you.
Sighted assistance continues to be critical for most people with visual disabilities because so much written information is not amenable to scanning—particularly public relations brochures with charts and graphs depicting a company’s fiscal status or handwritten notes you’re handed—and, as indicated, for completing forms.
Do you have such a workspace set up in your home? If not, this may be your first step in launching a successful career search.