When you’re looking for a job, especially when you’re looking full time, there is a tendency to gradually lose the discipline of a steady, systematic, process oriented job search. Looking for a job is in emotionally stressful thing to do. We mentioned it often but, next to death of a spouse, death of a parent and death of a child, coupled with divorce, the most emotionally stressful thing we do is look for a job. This becomes even more difficult when a person has been fired or let go unexpectedly. Instead of immediately taking massive action and developing a systematic, process oriented job search, often people “take a break.”

People, in this situation, because they are emotionally thrown off, just aren’t ready, they say, to start looking for a job. It’s just simply easier to take time off, go visit family, play little golf, fix up the house… anything, except look for a job. And unfortunately, the longer one goes postponing a disciplined job-search, the harder it is to do. It’s not uncommon for this kind of thing to happen in the job-search to get postponed for weeks, even months.

I will admit that it’s really hard the day after you get canned, to wake up and enthusiastically say, “this is a great day to start a new job search. I’m so glad it arrived!” And then sit down and develop a systematic plan to find a job, develop a call list of people who might hire you, start making appointments, develop an interview script, practice it and have a real positive attitude towards looking for a job.

One of the first things to go, especially in an unexpected job-search, is personal discipline. So, I recommend to people that they begin, as fast as they can, to structure their day with his much discipline as possible. If people begin discipline with the little things, then it is easy to discipline themselves to do the big things, like making appointments, practice interviewing, etc. This means to begin every day with discipline. Wake up at the same time every day, make your bed, dress as though you were going to a job, get to your desk and go to work. The more disciplined person is, especially in the very beginning of their job search, the better they do at the job search and, usually, it’s a much shorter duration of unemployment.

It is really easy to dismiss this kind of thing, and say, “Tony, come on, this doesn’t make that big a difference.” Well, yes it does! When it comes to an emotionally challenging activity, like finding a job, everything makes a difference. The more disciplined a person is in the little things the easier it is for them to be disciplined in the big things.

So, make your bed!