Being unemployed is something most of us hope to avoid, especially if we have a family to support and a mountain of bills to pay for. It can hit our confidence hard and consequently, we can become blind to other opportunities that are still present out there. I hope that this article will help to give some perspective about this difficult period and perhaps, turn this situation into something positive and productive.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some great ideas on how you can transform your unemployment period into something great:
1. Know Your Skills and Wants
Each one of us changes and evolves whether we recognize it or not. Our interests, strengths, and weaknesses shift constantly and if we are not aware of them, we can never improve ourselves and stretch our limits to the maximum.
So, during your unemployment period, stop and make a self-assessment. Are you still interested in the career you had before? What skills do you think will be helpful for your next job? Taking this time to ask yourself will help you refocus your goals and find the right job for your current knowledge and skillset.
2. Improve your Skillset
Some skills require constant updating to remain relevant in today’s working environment.
For example, if you are an architect, you must be able to include new improvements, features, and styles in the architectural integrity of the houses you are designing and constructing. Learn and update your skills, and refrain from creating elements that are outdated or not notable to make yourself stand out.
You can easily improve your skillset by checking out new digests of your chosen industry, joining free online courses like Coursera, and even reading relevant and current news about your industry.
3. Touch Up Your Resume
Don’t forget to revise your resume as well as your LinkedIn profile. Dust off those cobwebs on your credentials as employers and hiring managers nowadays are looking at resumes that are short and straight to the point. Remove those irrelevant experiences, especially your internships from 10 years ago.
4. Attend Networking Sessions
Nowadays, networking sessions have moved online which makes it ideal if you are an introvert. Attend video conferences and webinars that are relevant in your career. Rubbing shoulders with other people who have the same work interests can also be a great way to get back into the workforce.
5. Inspire Yourself With Videos
I love watching TedTalks and recently, I have been watching SharkTank. Both programs inspired me in different ways. TedTalks gave me new insights and made me realize that there are much bigger problems in the world than what I have right now.
Although all our difficulties are valid, the show gave me a different approach to look into problems as there are no too big or too small that cannot be solved. SharkTank, on the other hand, just amazed me on the thought processes of the entrepreneurs. Their innovations and new ideas hit the sweet spot by serving and targeting the gaps in the market.
6. Practice your interview technique
It is undeniable that one of the scary things about applying to a new job is the interview. Interviews are very important because it is the perfect opportunity to impress future employers about your knowledge and skills. It is also the primary step to achieve your desired position and continue your career. Employers will evaluate your personality, especially on how you handle stress and pressure, skillsets, and determination to join their company. However, keep in mind that it can also be a two-way street as the interview is also the best time to assess whether the employer or company is the right fit for you.
Practice answering interview questions with your friends or family to help you assess your responses. Make sure to give them a guideline, if you are doing well and giving the correct answers, based on the relevance of your current career and the job you are applying for.
7. Work as a Freelancer
Freelancing is also another great way to make your unemployment period more productive. There are a lot of websites offering freelancing work, wherein you can earn as well as improve your current skills. You only have to find the perfect one for your needs which is based on what you can do while you wait for job interviews.
8. Be with your loved ones
Make it to a point to use your free time to be with your loved ones. Some of us often work with odd hours, like in a shifting schedule, which leaves us with less time to spend with our families.
In some cases, we are unable to go home for a long time. With the free time you currently have, you can go on trips with your family or just spend time with them doing normal activities that you cannot do before. Show them that you care and surely they will help and support you during this period.
9. Give Back to Society
While actively waiting for your job applications, you can use this time to be a volunteer. You may not be rewarded in a monetary sense, but you will feel useful and helpful to others. Unintentionally, it can help you boost your self-esteem too. You can learn a lot from other people, especially if it is a community service, as it will open your eyes to the less fortunate people and their livelihoods. You can discover opportunities to help them strive for their own lives and not lose hope to have a better future.
10. Go Explore Within
Remember when you wished you had more time to do something different than solely focusing on your day job? That something could be baking muffins, hiking a mountain, or taking a painting course. This could be the perfect time to explore that other part of you. Cause who knows? You might finally discover a hidden talent and start a business because of it.
11. Get in Touch with Yourself
Sometimes we can get so busy with life and work that we forget to take care of ourselves. When was the last time you had a spa session or had a haircut? Or a nice and peaceful coffee session while catching up with an old friend on a weekday afternoon? How about spending an entire day in a museum without any stress and time limit?
This could be the time to do some self-care and focus on yourself. You can even get a discount and enjoy your day with fewer crowds in shops, museums, and malls during weekdays!
12. Talk to Someone
You are maybe experiencing overflowing emotions during this unemployment period, either anxiously sending out millions of applications over Indeed.com or feeling depressed that none of those applications gets accepted.
Nevertheless, know that you are not alone. Hundreds, if not, thousands of people are jobless every day around the world. Pause for a while and take a breather. Talk with your closest friends or family and ask for advice. Sometimes we just need other people to listen to us and care for us. With perseverance and a little faith in yourself, you will get back to your feet very soon. If you need a bit of more professional advice or guidance, it will certainly help to talk to a therapist or a life coach to recover and find your way back.
When you become unemployed, don’t immediately think it is the end of the world. Sure, you are unemployed now, but you can easily jump back into action if you have a clear plan in mind. Also, remember to use your free time wisely and make ways to be productive. After all, everything will be dependent on your outlook in life. It is better to find ways to turn this situation into something positive, and maybe, you will find yourself back in employment in no time.
For more ways to motivate yourself during unemployment times, check out these articles:
Conversation with Patty Wolters on Unemployment During Pandemic Times
Feeling Ashamed of Being Unemployed
How to Negotiate a Severance Package
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.