It’s all too easy to feel in a slump when you are between jobs. Whether you are out of work due to reasons beyond your control, or you left due to an unpleasant or unfulfilling work environment, you can make it work for your future.
Taking the right steps to mitigate the gaps on your resume can help to smooth your transition into a career move that will be of benefit.
Much of the work required will be down to attitude. Looking at your lack of employment as an opportunity is the first step.
If you are between jobs and you’re concerned about your next step, then these ideas might just help you to thrive.
What you will read in this article:
1. Enjoy Some Personal Time
While nobody wants too many lengthy gaps on their resume, there’s nothing wrong with taking time to refocus. This is especially true if your last job was clearly not the right fit for you. Obviously, the longer that you are out of work, the more that you will have to concern yourself with your financial options.
Reduce your living costs, and consider selling some of those unnecessary possessions. With sites like eBay allowing you to sell almost anything, it’s never been easier to fund your lack of employment.
There are also dedicated websites that will buy silver, meaning that you will have the financial space and freedom to decide what your next career step is going to be.
2. Focus On Self-Improvement
Being between jobs gives you the perfect opportunity to boost your skill set. Depending on your career options, take the time to learn industry-relevant skills.
For computer programmers, there are a variety of platforms that can teach you a new coding language, and there are YouTube tutorials available for almost every skill imaginable. Improving your skill set will enhance your resume and make you much more attractive to potential employers.
Consider even basic skill improvements such as learning a language. Multilingual employees are more valued than ever before and can earn more than those that can only speak their native tongue. You might even find that a new skill opens up new opportunities, and gives you a fresh view of where you want to be in the future.
3. Look for Help
You may find that you need assistance when it comes to job applications. This is far easier than it used to be, and there are now many companies that can offer free or paid advice for resume improvement, interview techniques, and tips for writing a better cover letter.
They can help you to stand out from the crowd, and with so many applicants applying for the same role, it’s essential that your resume does not get lost in the piles of similar resumes.
Learn how to grab attention with your job applications, and your time out of work might be shorter than you think.
4. Time to Network
Having a lot of free time in the day will give you a fantastic opportunity to network.
You can start by updating your online profiles. Start with LinkedIn and ensure that your profile is up to date and that you are marked as looking for work.
You could even take the time to build an online portfolio. It can also be very productive to approach companies on speculation.
Emails or phone calls at the right time can be very beneficial, and even if there are no opportunities available at the time, should one come up in the future your initial approach will pay off.
Proving that you are keen to join a company without a prompt is a good start to making the right impression.
5. Getting Proactive
There’s no getting around the fact that if you want to find work quickly, then you are going to need to put in some serious effort.
The people that spend the least amount of time between jobs are those that treat finding a new job as a full-time job. There’s nothing stopping you from working 9-5 as a job-hunter.
Never expect that your dream job is simply going to land in your inbox. Scour your local opportunities, and use the internet to find industry-specific employment boards.
Make sure that you have a copy of your resume downloaded onto your phone so that you can apply for a position as soon as you are aware of it.
Remember to take the time to tailor your applications to the role that you are applying. Never simply send out the same cover letter and resume to every potential employer.
6. Connect with Others in The Same Situation
If you have friends or family that are in the same situation as you, then meet up on a regular basis. Chatting about the steps you have taken, the jobs that you have applied for, and the next stage of your plan, can all help to keep you focused. It’s also a good way of keeping yourself motivated and optimistic.
It’s very easy to allow a lack of work to affect your mental health, and the bigger your support network, the better. There are online groups and forums available that allow those out of work to discuss their situations, and they can help you with perspective.
The exchanging of advice and ideas can even help you to think outside of the box when it comes to your next steps. Connect with others, pool your resources, and build support, and you may find work much more quickly. Being part of a community will be a reminder that you are not going through this period alone.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort when you’re between jobs, then you will invariably spend less time struggling.
The more effort that you put in, the quicker you will see results. It’s vital that you do not get discouraged, but this can be very difficult in the face of a growing pile of job rejections.
Always remember your value, and try your best to keep a positive attitude. Temporary career setbacks can be stressful, but looking at them as an opportunity to grow can help you remain positive and improve your career prospects.