Looking for a new job is a full-time gig without the benefit of a paycheck. You need discipline and stamina to conduct an effective search and overcome rejection, but long periods without pay can be tough on the spirit as well as the wallet. The most effective job seekers treat their search as a full-time job: They work specific hours and strive to meet daily activity goals. If you're out of work, follow these tips to stay focused and get back on the payroll quickly.

Create a Workspace

It could be the kitchen counter or the corner of the bedroom, but establish a temporary office, where you won't be disturbed. Post your office hours and let family members and roommates know that you won't be available until the end of the day.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Every employee needs performance goals, so create a search plan that includes daily activity requirements and track your results. Reward yourself with some small token at the end of the week if you meet your objectives.

Appoint a Temporary Boss

An unemployed colleague, a career coach or a trusted friend might agree to serve as your temporary "boss" and mentor while you conduct your search. Especially for those who work best under pressure and direct supervision, having a temporary boss is helpful.

Stay Motivated

Celebrate small wins like landing a job interview or having a phone conversation with a manager. Tape a photo of your kids or a picture of that new car you want to the side of your computer screen. Focus on achieving the interim steps that will eventually lead to an offer. You'll be back collecting a paycheck before you know it.

-- Leslie Stevens-Huffman