It’s way too easy to get lost in the shuffle…
…of social media, mundane tasks, TV, chores, scrolling through depressing news, or even just laying around when you’re unemployed and out of your routine. Before you know it, the day is almost over and you find yourself still in your pajamas with nothing to show for your time and no progress moving from unemployment to employment.
Have you given any thought to how you can participate in activities that will enhance your resume as well as keep your skills current? Or, have you considered allowing yourself to learn new skills while you are looking for new employment?
Here are a few suggestions to help you use your time wisely and close the gap between unemployment and employment:
If you have professional licensures or certifications, keep them renewed and current. Attend and complete required professional training to maintain licensures and certifications. Another positive step you can take is to enroll in a specialized class (or classes) in your related field. Consider pursuing and earning and earn an industry-related certificate or credential. It’s even easier now to learn remotely.
Under normal circumstances, you can attend and participate in industry-related conferences. If possible, volunteer to help at the conference as this will allow you to meet and network with colleagues in your field. While you are volunteering, be very strategic about it and make the best use of your time. It is important to consider the energy and expertise you can offer by volunteering.
Think about the result you want from volunteering.
Do you want to be at the front desk meeting and greeting people? Should you volunteer to speak on a topic to show your expertise? Would you rather volunteer to take a group around the city to spend time getting to know people on a different level?
Volunteering your time to a good cause is always positive thing and will add value to your resume! Be sure to list it and keep track of the month and year you performed the volunteer service. If you need help tracking volunteer service and your accomplishments, you might want to read our posts on Resume Accomplishments: Part 1 and Part 2.
However, when you are in an active job search, you do need to be protective of your time.
It’s important to select opportunities that may yield a greater return towards your goal of securing new employment.
Volunteering can provide a great response to the interview question, “What have you been doing during your time of unemployment?” Volunteering can help you:
- Gain valuable experience that can add months and years of experience “points” to help you qualify for positions you may otherwise not qualify for.
- Give back, which can help you stay mentally positive during a challenging job search.
- Meet people who can refer you to valuable job contacts.
- Network and reveal evolving opportunities and solid leads.
- Find common interests with people in your target organizations. Then, find out where they volunteer and serve alongside them.
- Connect with professional organizations.
- Participate on multi-disciplinary teams and committees.
MAGNETIC TIP: One of the best ways to keep your skills current is to teach others. When you teach, you typically prepare. During that preparation process, you learn at a deeper level. Also, the act of teaching enhances a much greater level of retention.
Strategic ways to close the gap between unemployment and employment are to:
- Keep your skills current by attending industry events.
- Participate in forums and online events.
- Read industry-related publications, journals, and online resources. This includes news, blogs, and agency updates as well as social media updates on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Volunteer to serve.
- Teach others to keep your knowledge, skills, and abilities at the top of your game.
What are some ways you have closed the gap between unemployment and employment (besides landing the job – which we can help you with)?
Please leave a comment below. We welcome your ideas and suggestions!