When you’re out of work it’s easy to become complacent. Maybe after being let go, or even taking time off, you look at it as an opportunity to take a breather and re-gather yourself. Trouble is that it is too easy to transition from “breather” to just plain lazy. So, what’s there to do in the meantime between time? How do we keep ourselves productive and marketable as we wade through temporary periods of unemployment or transition?
- Take a course. Enroll in a class to enhance, hone, or add to an existing skill that may be required for the job market you’re looking to get in to. Plans to move into management? Take a Business, Communications or Human Resources course. Planning to make a career change? Take a beginning course in it to gather new knowledge of that field. And don’t miss opportunities to network with your fellow students and professors to get a lead on job openings!
- Learn a new language. This could go along with number one. If you’ve already taken courses to learn the basics of another language, read a book to brush up on what you know (i.e. “The Idiot’s Guide to Learning Spanish”). In today’s competitive job market, with many large and small companies reaching overseas, adding Bilingual to your resume could definitely help you stand out more.
- Volunteer. Volunteering with an organization that you love is a great way to network, give back to your community and add to your resume. Sometimes longevity and diligence can lead to a position with an organization you believe in.
- Employ your own abilities. So you can bake and Paula Dean’s got nothing on your grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie recipe? Now that you’re out of work—or taking a break—it’s a great time to focus on what you can do and even make some extra money on the side. If you bake, sell some pies to the church or organize a bake sale. You sew? Advertise that gift to your girlfriends and offer to fix that zipper, add that button or alter those pants for a ridiculously low fee (they are your girlfriends after all). By employing your own abilities you take the time out to do what you love and may even consider making a business out of it.
- Intern/Extern. If you’ve already done this before, in college or school, it could seem like a step backward. But if you have the time, which you do because you’re not working, it is a great time and opportunity to do three things: 1. Work for a company you love, learning more about the field you love. 2. Gain resume experience and add to your work portfolio. 3. Network! Network! Network! Committing to two or three days a week for as little as six weeks (on up to six months) to do the three things listed above can have lasting effects and can open up more opportunity for you in the future.
- Relax and meditate. Sometimes a little time off of work can be a blessing in disguise. If you’re used to working in a field that’s always go, go, go or you’re on your feet all day or you rarely see the ones you love, then BREATHE. Take the opportunity to collect your thoughts, read a book, spend time with family, catch up with girlfriends, start attending that women’s meeting you’ve been meaning to, and meditate on God and the direction He’s moving you. Ultimately the goal is to be moving on His timing and not yours and meditation and relaxation can clear your head so that the only voice you hear is His. And when you listen to that voice, everything else in your life will fall into place.
What are some things you’ve found helpful during a transitional period? Anything I’ve missed? I’d love to know so leave me a comment below. Thanks for stopping by!