If you are unemployed and fretting about the fact that this period may work against you when you start applying for jobs post the sabbatical, it is best not to lose your sleep over it. You are just part of a growing number of unemployed individuals who want to take a break and re-analyze their career graph. Even though it is important that to get out of the dither you’re in, you must not while away precious time as it will never come back. Once you resign, take a vacation and when you get back all rejuvenated begin to brush the dirt off your shoulders to put a new shine on your personal brand.
How To Stay Relevant While Being Unemployed
With limited options of good jobs, finding a new work opportunity may require some patience. Use your surplus time to shape up and prepare yourself for when hiring picks up. Here’s what you need to do when you are sitting at home without a significant job –
Alert your network
Having worked before, it is expected that you are part of a professional network. This circle could be your lifeline and will help you get back into the job market. But this can only happen when they know you need a helping hand. Begin updating online profiles such as LinkedIn, make a contact list and chalk out a correspondence plan. Remember to first break the ice with a friendly greeting and some other topic before you announce your unemployment woes.
Assemble a portfolio
Gather material that supports your previous accomplishments and products that you have worked on. Also include projects you managed, the positive feedback and public appreciation. This will help you stand out when you go for interviews and shall give you a clearer perspective of your skill-set, eventually boosting your confidence.
Volunteer for a social cause
Volunteering for the community is always good for your image. Additionally, it helps you build a wide network as you meet people from all walks of life. Use this opportunity to get in touch with people from the same field and opt for projects that are aligned with your personal and professional sensibilities. You yourself can also take an initiative and organize a charity event or lead a volunteer group.
Find internships or unpaid work
When paying jobs get difficult to come by, you can rely on unpaid work to keep your skills updated. This way you remain aware about the industry and also make professional connections. And when hiring begins full throttle, you will have something to show on your resume.
Learn new things
You are never too old to start learning. If you wish to gain more knowledge, there is a class for nearly everything, starting from business basics and computer certification to graphic design and photography. Enrolling for a course shows that you are still open to learning new ropes while developing existing ones. You can also consider getting a new degree.
Also Read: 5 Reasons To Take Up a New Hobby
Try consulting or freelancing
Many companies don’t hire resources as they can’t afford as many regular employees. But they still need to get work done. Even though freelancing is not your ultimate goal, it will always stay with you as a steady source of income.
Start a blog and offer expertise
Make sure you keep yourself updated with the industry news by reading trade magazines, message boards and newspapers. Once you have gained some knowledge and enlightened yourself, you can share stuff on a daily blog. This will show that you have got a finger on the pulse of the industry. Plus, if you manage to get a strong following, who knows it may lead to a job offer.