By David Pego

It’s never too early to start on your spring cleaning.

No, forget about doing a major overhaul on your house or apartment with a boxful of detergents, bleaches and other cleaning agents. I mean it’s time to clean out the clutter that drags you down if you spending a significant amount of your time trying to find a new job.

Simplify your surroundings. It will make your job search more efficient. And it will keep you from revisiting places that have not yielded any jobs before.

Start by looking through your list of contacts – former co-workers, schoolmates, and relatives. If you have such folks listed on a Rolodex or some other sort of system (even scraps of paper with names and phone numbers on your desk or dining room table), look through them and thin them down. I guess you can save some of the contact information, but how much of it do you really need? Who’s really in a position to help?

Then, once it’s thinned, box it up and move it away from where you actively do your job hunting.

Toss out some companies, too

Go through those extra copies of job application forms of places that have turned you down several times before. Lose them. It’s time to face the reality that they might not want you. Don’t feel rejected, but do start focusing on fishing in other ponds. Find out who’s advertising that you haven’t tried before.

Make your actual job hunting workspace (a desk? a table? a bedside nightstand?) more efficient. Create new folders (on computer or paper) to hold information on prospective employers and blank application forms.

Do your research on those organizations and file the information in the new folders. Keep it to the point.

Who should you be?

Clean up your resume too! It hasn’t worked in awhile, right? Hmmmm. Sounds like you need to rewrite it. Take a look at the skills that employers are seeking in their Sunday newspaper employment ads. Shape your resume to fit those needs.

Find two inspirational quotes (not just one) to post at your workspace to encourage you. Sure, your mom will call and encourage you from time to time as you agonize about your lot in life and wonder why you ever got that degree. But when she’s not on the phone line, you need something else to be a gentle hand in the middle of your back pushing you toward that next great adventure.

It’s time for spring cleaning. Get out those bright new, blank sheets of paper. And go get ’em!



Contributing editor and director of writer development David Pego is a Saginaw Chippewa tribal member. He was the first native journalist to be named a McCormick Tribune Fellow.  David was a delegate to the historic White House Conference on Indian Education and was the 2000 winner of the Innovators In Education Award. He also serves as National Chair for the new Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society national writing competition for young students. is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.