Finding the motivation to launch a job search in sports can be extremely difficult. It isn’t unusual for job seekers to move in as many unrelated directions as possible to avoid resume writing, phone calling and interviewing.

Previous bad work experiences can damage your self-confidence, causing a retreat into activities that feel secure. Treating the family to a vacation or painting the garage may provide temporary ego- stroking. They don’t, however, help find a new job.

Only a focused objective and the determination to achieve it can uncover a challenging new position.

With this in mind, consider the following dictums. They’ll help you conclude your search successfully within a modest amount of time:

1. Stop Kidding Yourself. Face Reality. Even if team executives made a mistake in letting you go, they’ll never acknowledge their error. They may be a bit more generous in a severance arrangement, however, if they feel it may have been a mistake to fire you, given that you maybe in a position to help(or hurt) them later on. Use this to your advantage.

2. Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself For Too Long. It’s all right to be upset, frustrated, annoyed, disappointed and angry during the first 24 to 48 hours. After that, such feelings will hinder your job search. Make your time work for you; don’t be a slave to each passing hour, anxiously awaiting the end of the work day.

3. Start An Exercise Program. This doesn’t require an expensive membership at the local health club. Rather, establish a schedule of walking, running, swimming, biking or some other activity that will absorb your excess energy and diminish your frustrations. Your appearance might improve a bit as well.

4. Make The Job Search Process A Game. Establish your own rules. Decide what constitutes a touchdown, a first down and a fumble. Don’t view your search as a struggle. See it as an opportunity to enhance your standard of living and yourself-esteem. Make the most of this fresh opportunity.

5. Accept The Realities 0f A Job Loss. This is a stressful period in which you’ve likely lost a long-standing set of personal relationships. You will likely experience anxiety, anger, guilt, the same emotions people feel after the death of a family member or close friend. Allow yourself a few days to mourn, and then move on. And remember, the loss of a job doesn’t mean the loss of your dignity, no matter how poorly you might have been treated.

6. Review Your Financial Situation. Accept unemployment compensation- it’s yours, you’ve earned it. Next, develop a financial survival strategy. Consider advising your creditors of your unemployed status and your sincere interest in maintaining your credit worthiness. Determine how much cash you have available if needed. Many people panic when they realize their salary will stop on a certain date. You won’t drop off the face of the earth when your severance package runs out. It doesn’t work that way. Remember that you might have IRAs you could tap. There is a cash surrender value available from your insurance policies. You could take out loans from a credit union. You could cash in savings bonds. You could redirect some of your other savings programs on a temporary basis. You could reduce some of your payments, opting instead for the minimum required amount for a few months. Perhaps you should shrink or eliminate your charitable contributions.  Seldom are people forced to dip heavily into their savings if they take time to develop a financial plan soon after losing a job.

7. Set A Target Date For The Acceptance And Start Of Your New Job. Choose a reasonable date based on an evaluation of your marketable skills and your perception of the job market, and then direct your efforts toward reaching that goal. Outline the elements of your ideal job. Include job title, salary, office size and location. Be specific and visualize yourself in the new job. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know when you find it?

8. Review Your Wardrobe Critically. That beat-up old suit that you used to wear every Friday just doesn’t hold up anymore, especially not on interviews. First impressions are important, and a worn cuff or scuffed shoe may send the wrong message. It’s amazing how many job seekerswear$300 suits and $60 shirts or blouses, yet fail to shine their shoes.

9. Set A Daily Schedule & Stick To It. Destructive habits are easily acquired but extremely difficult to break. When the opportunity clock goes off, get up and get moving. The process of finding a job is a contact sport. The more people you contact, the faster you’ll find a new position. It can be uncomfortable explaining to people that you’re out of work, but unless you meet with networking contacts and potential employers on a daily basis, your search will drag on endlessly. Richard Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” says that about two-thirds of all job hunters spend less than five hours a week actively looking for new positions. How long would you last in any job by working actively just one hour each day? Your career deserves a full-time effort.

10. Resist The Temptation To Become Housebound. Unemployment isn’t the time to run family errands or spend hours shopping for a new blender. Your time should be spent focused on your objective of landing a new job. Setting aside an hour or two each day to get groceries and drop off dry cleaning is fine, but don’t allow dusty closets or piled-up mending to distract you from the work at hand. It’s inevitable: You’ll find a new job and develop a career path in Sports.

The question is, how long will it take? By demonstrating a focused direction and making yourself accessible to employers and networking contacts, you’ll shorten the time between paychecks.

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