Unemployment is scary.
At different points in our lives, we experience the challenge of living uncertain for our financial future. Whether it’s through a deliberate plan or unforeseen circumstance, it is hard and time-consuming to tackle the world of unemployment.
But do not let unemployment bring you down. With some creativity, you can embrace your time unemployed while being productive and pursuing your goals. Here are some suggestions that will help you come out on top.
Tips to Navigate Unemployment
1. Job Search
You didn’t need an article to tell you to actively continue to search for a real job. Treat your job search like a full-time job and spend your workday pursuing job opportunities. Use online sites like LinkedIn and Indeed to find job prospects. Once you have a potential opportunity, spend time revising your resume, perfecting your bullet points, and customizing your cover letter.
Instead of playing the numbers game, focus on applying your personality and charm into each application. Hiring managers are looking for someone with the right experience and personality. Treat your cover letter with as much care and love as your resume. A great cover letter can be the difference between a phone call and a missed opportunity.
2. Build Your Network
Networking is a vital part of the job search. Amid our busy lives, it’s easy to lose contact with friends and family. Take the time to connect (or reconnect) with the people you know from your past jobs or private life. You never know when a contact will have a ‘hot tip’ for a potential job. Make a list of potential contacts and give them a call or email. Let them know you are searching for a job, and share your interests, and your field(s) of expertise. Your network can open closed doors and build future friendships. Remember, people hire people, not just sets of skills.
Once you have rekindled your friendships, set up meetings through referral. If your friend or family member can vouch for you and make a warm introduction, by all means – ASK THEM! This one tip can get your foot in the door of a company much more efficiently than countless hours of online searching. Keep the initial conversation casual and focus on your mutual interest in the company. Once the two of you hit it off, consider mentioning your interest in a position or job posting. Keeping up with your network will be critical to your success and will likely shortcut your unemployment stint.
3. Stay Active and Gain New Skills
Don’t burn yourself out by job searching 24/7. Being jobless is a great time for reflection and it truly is a new chapter in your life. Stay active! Get up at the same time daily and create a work out routine. Now’s the time to take up yoga, running or thai chi. No employment means no excuses! Getting active first thing in the morning will help you kick-start your day with positive hormones like adrenaline and dopamine.
Also, to survive and thrive while unemployed, now’s a great time to take a step back and focus on learning new skills. You won’t get this much free time when you have a job again. Consider taking online courses at Udemy, a local adult education group, community college, or through free online tutorials. Spend your time developing new employable skills. It may even help you land the job, showing future employers ways you go above and beyond. If you have a skill you wish you could learn, take the time while unemployed to gain new skills.
4. Volunteer for a Local Organization
Volunteering is not the first item on your agenda while unemployed, but it can be a great job-search resource. If you find you answer “yes” to one of these questions, consider volunteering your time.
- Do you enjoy going outside?
- Do you need to get out of the house?
- Do you enjoy exercise?
- Have you wanted to volunteer with a special organization before, but could never find the time?
While unemployed, avoid pastimes that make you feel alone and anxious at home. Volunteer your time and services and build new connections and skills. But, do your research. Do not just accept any invitation to volunteer. Find a new skill or task you want to learn and build relationships with those people with whom you connect. Whether or not you’re employed, volunteering can be a creative avenue for new experiences and help keep you in a positive mindset.
5. Start Your Own Business
Self-employment is something many consider but few pursue. Free-time is a major reason many choose to stay in the regular full-time schedule. If you are unemployed, perhaps now is the time to start your business. You can make your own schedule. Your time is spent doing what you want to do instead of what others expect of you. It may not pay all the bills immediately, but while you have free time, you can pursue your own business using your skills and talents for others. It can cushion you while you find a full-time job. If it is something you are passionate about, you will enjoy your work and make extra money which can help keep you afloat in between jobs.
Don’t let unemployment discourage you
Being unemployed may make you question your self-worth. You spend months applying for positions and may not hear back from one. You continue to apply, wondering when the day will come when someone notices your in-demand skills and cuts you a break.
You wish you had something better to do with yourself. You may hate the worthlessness you feel, but when the dust clears you will find a new opportunity. It may take several months, but remember, when searching for the right employment, persistence will be rewarded. Just remember to make each day count while unemployed.
Unemployment is an awkward time of stress, free-time, and self-doubt. Yet, surviving unemployment is doable. Realize that this time is always temporary. Do not let unemployment label you or get you down. Remember, unemployment is a new chapter in and of itself and can be a creative, fruitful time in your life – where you can grow and explore the world. With a positive, grateful mindset, use unemployment to build friendships, research new companies, build skills, volunteer, take a course online, or even start a business. During unemployment your possibilities are endless. Stay positive, don’t give up on your search and more qualified work will come your way.
This article was sourced by a guest blogger: Thanks so much, Ujëbardha for sharing your insights with us! These tips are great for navigating the waters of unemployment and to ultimately thrive in our new chapter!