By Vado Porro • August 17, 2010•Writers in Residence
A little over three weeks ago, I made it through the bar exam. Once that weight was lifted, it was time for me and many of my classmates to go back to doing what we have been doing for nearly a year now: job hunting.
Job hunting is grueling and it is brutal. It is also now a reality of many of our lives that we need to find a job soon. In the coming months, as many of us remain jobless in this terrible market, we will face another issue: too much time. This is where exercise comes in.
I read an article recently that discussed how many people who have been laid off in the current market are using their "free" time to train for marathons and triathlons. The idea is that when unemployed, people finally find time to do all those things they promised they would do "when they had time." This is, as they say, making lemonade when life hands you lemons.
So to my fellow graduates without solid long-term job plans, I recommend you use exercise as a way to focus yourself during your job hunt. Exercise can bring to you a routine - if you get up at the same time every day and go exercise, it gives an impression of stability. More importantly, it helps you form a healthy habit that will make it so much easier to keep exercising when you do find a job.
This is the part where you point out to me that "joining a gym is expensive" or something like that. But there are still a number of ways that you can exercise without paying out a lot of money. For starters, check to see if your school gym has an alumni association membership rate, which might be lower than their general public rate. Running can be yours for the price of a pair of shoes. Exercise.TV, Netflix ,and cable all have recently begun to make exercise videos instantly available, for a low, or no, price.
Another great thing about exercise in a down job market is that it gives you an excuse to leave the house, but does not require spending money. It is a great thing to do with similarly un/under employed friends - consider going on long bike rides or going walking/hiking with law school buddies. It's cheap and healthy entertainment, keeps you out of your head, and will help you blow off steam that comes from rejection letters.
Just don't let your job hunt suffer at the expense of your new-found exercise habit. It might seem like more fun to go on a bike ride than send out resumes, but you know which is ultimately more important. So send out the resume first, and then use that bike ride as a reward.