If you’ve been made redundant, lost your job or are just taking time off between work, the first few weeks and sometimes months of unemployment can be both liberating and frightening. If you’ve managed to accumulate a decent amount of money to tie you over for a few months, you might feel some temporary relief, especially if you’d committed to your previous role for a long time. All of a sudden you find yourself free to catch up with old friends, spend time with the family, take up that yoga class you never had time for and all the wonderful thing you’ve been putting off for too long.
As exciting as these new plans might seem at first, it’s important not to allow yourself to fall off the employment bandwagon for too long. Remember that you’re not on an extended holiday and it’s not easy to jump straight back into what you were doing before.
Make the most of this time out by committing to productive activities that will increase your chances of not only finding a job quickly but also advancing your career in the process.
Looking for a job
It should go without saying, but it’s actually something people tend to put off for extended periods of time, especially if the situation is new to you and you’re excited about having so much free time. Dedicate some time – at least a few hours each day – to spend actively seeking employment. This include fixing up your resume, writing cover letters, retrieving references as well as seeking and applying for jobs.
This is a great time to nurture relationships with people you would otherwise not have had the time to connect with. Not only does it help you remain positive about your own prospects, but speaking to people who have careers can also motivate you to bounce back. Of course, when you do, you’ll have a wider network to reach out to.
Going back to study
Taking a professional course shows a dedication to self-development and demonstrates initiative. If an applicant can prove that they’re willing to invest in their development, especially at a time when their financial situation is shaky. Do take on a challenge within your general field. For example, if you work in marketing, don’t take an accounting course and expect a senior role in finance. Expand your current knowledge instead.
Volunteering shows prospective employers and companies what kind of person you are – it shows that you’re passionate about something and that you believe in a cause. When you demonstrate that money isn’t the most important thing in the world for you, employers will pick up on your enthusiasm and drive, which will help take your resume to the top of the list because it’s not all about hiring someone who can get the job done, but also hiring an employee who has integrity and character.
A professional blog can be a good way to market yourself to employers, especially if you’re creative and have a knack for writing. But even if you don’t consider yourself to be the most creative of authors, you can still make your resume much more interesting by taking the initiative to write about your area of expertise. Employers will be able to see that you love what you do, and are an expert in the field.
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