If you’ve experienced unemployment, particularly after working for years, you may know the weird feeling of dislocation that can come from having too much free time on your hands. While it’s a good idea to update your resume and write great cover letters when unemployed, there are a few other things you can do to make the most of your time. This includes volunteering, learning a new skill, catching up with your network – or building new connections. Here’s how to stay productive while looking for your next career path.
Employers today are interested in your efforts to improve the world around you, so volunteering for a worthy cause while you’re laid off is a great way to use your time. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself, but it also adds skills to your resume. It can even connect you with a new social network that could lead to a new job. It will illustrate to employers that you kept your skills sharp during your time away from the work world. One important tip is you should give some thought to where you’ll be volunteering. How does the organization connect to your job market? Can the activity give you some valuable resume skills you could highlight during an interview?
Increase your industry visibility
This might be a good time to get active in an industry-related association. Most cities have a variety of events going on that can increase your skills and help you network with employers and employees. Many of these events are also free or low cost. When you find the industry-specific organization that’s right for you, why not use your free time to help them with meetings or events? Make sure you’re connecting with everyone you meet on LinkedIn.
Reach out to your existing network
A social network is only as good as the connections you manage. Think about your network as a living web of people you can help – and that can help you. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile recently, now is the time. Then work on reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in a while. Relationships atrophy over time, so make sure you email a one-on-one communication with “your people” on a regular basis. You can also ask colleagues you’ve worked with to give you a reference on the platform.
Learn new skills
Remember when you were working and you thought, “If only I had more time, I’d learn X.” If you’re unemployed, there is no better time than to brush up on old skills or create new ones. There are all kinds of free online classes, including those from Harvard and MIT found on the edX website. For programmer wannabe’s there are classes at freeCodeCamp that can retrain you for a job in the digital field.
Call Top Stack
If you’re unemployed, make calling Top Stack a priority. We have a variety of positions available right now you may already be qualified for. What are you waiting for? Start the conversation.