Forget work-life balance crap. This is a dog eats dog situation and you have to amend your social life accordingly. If you were the 9-5 type forget it for a while. Typically you would spend 4-5 hours a day doing research, contacting friends for leads, talking to recruitment agencies and doing searches on online job portals. You will typically need to spend another 8-10 hours brushing up on your skills. This is the hard part. Fail to do this and you might as well forget a quick turnaround.
This is a crucial. When sitting at home it will get difficult to focus on getting a job. You might be tempted to rue your fate, watch a movie to just ‘relax’, get together with your drink buddies to drown your sorrow etc. Please do not go this route. Focus is essential.
Brooding over the situation will not change anything. Rather focus your energies on building your skills, which in turn has a direct impact on your confidence. Even better try to do some actual work – build an application, teach someone, help out a buddy to gain a skill, reach out to your neighborhood firms to provide your services free, speak in user groups, write articles etc.
Do whatever it takes to be in touch with your line of work. If the job hunt gets protracted you should have a set of assets and accomplishments you can showcase to any potential employer. The last thing you want is a big gap in your resume with nothing to show for the time spent.
If you have ever harbored any entrepreneurial dreams now is the time to flesh it out. This will require a post of its own. So lets get back to employment mode.
Try part-time gigs, do not be stuck on full-time employment. Be flexible in your job preferences. If a potential employer demands a new skill, showcase your ability to learn quickly. Prove it to them by offering to pick the skill in a couple of weeks. Seriously consider re-locating if need be. This might be difficult if you have a family but give it a thought.
Get on Google Alerts. Watch for keywords pertaining to your industry. Notice the trends that are emerging and be prepared to tweak your job hunt strategy, your skills, your CV..just about everything that can have an impact on your job prospects.
Set yourself up on Google Reader to read blogs on your industry. Even better setup a blog for yourself. Perhpas you can share experiences in refreshing your skills, your job hunt strategy and how its working out..basically anything professional that can aid a potential employer to make an assessment of the kind of person you are.