10 Things To Do While In-Between Jobs: 1st Place in JobMob’s 2011 International Career Blogging Contest


Remember that the situation you are now in is not permanent.  You will not remain in the unemployment phase indefinitely.  You are simply in-between jobs and while waiting, there are 10 things you can do to stay positive and proactive while waiting to get your job offer.

1. Join a Job Search Group:

The job search can be overwhelming.  There are others out there feeling the same things you are.  Meeting once a week can help keep you from getting depressed, help you set goals, and can be a great way to learn new job search strategies.  You can also get personal feedback from the facilitator on your resume/cover letter, and where to take your job search.

2. Volunteer:

You would be surprised at how many volunteer positions lead to a job.  And even if they don’t, they lead to contacts that might be able to refer you to someone with an opportunity.  Why not get out of the house at least 2x a week and offer your services in a hospital, school, or library.  You can even volunteer at campaign headquarters for the candidate of your choice or for your favorite non-profit agency.

3. Watch someone in your ideal job:

I am not saying stalk anyone, but it makes sense to ‘watch’.  If I want to be legal counsel for a corporation, I would go to a few public trials.  If I want to be a writer, I would attend book signings at the local bookstore. This costs nothing and it can keep you motivated and excited about the career you chose.  And do not plan on leaving the event, before at least making one positive comment to the individual that impressed you.  Conversations can go a long way if you are willing to take the risk.

4. Network in Person:

Now is not the time to shut your self off from society, but just the opposite.  Join a meet-up group related to your field, go to events or conferences in your profession.  Most of the jobs out there are not found in the newspaper or by blindly sending out resumes; but by networking!  Always try to look your best, and have your resume ready at any social event you go to from now on.  Introduce yourself and start connecting with people in person.

5. Master Social Media for Networking:

It’s amazing how Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have changed the job search arena.  If you are not on these websites, you need to create a profile.  If you are on these websites already you need be careful of the image you have created for yourself.  There is an art form to how to connect with contacts online and where to search for jobs in these forums.  If it seems overwhelming, CareerFolk has a great workshop on how to maximize the use of these networking resources.  If used correctly, you are almost guaranteed a job.

6. Set up a few Informational Interviews:

If your best friend’s father is working for a great company or you remember someone from a party a while back that impressed you, try to arrange a meeting.  Offer to pick up the tab and take them out for coffee or lunch, and simply say you want to learn about the company they work for of how they got started.  If they say no, you have nothing to lose. If they say yes, you never know what avenues open up.

7. Learn something new:

Great careers in all disciplines are fostered by being a superstar, who knows more about that subject than anyone else, said Philip Zimbardo.  So now that you have all this extra time on your hand to read a few books related to your field, master that computer class you always wanted, or get the Certification you know you need to make your resume stand out.  Use the time you have while waiting for a job, to get yourself and your resume more marketable.

8. Re-Evaluate who you are and what you want:

E.E. Cummimgs said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” But do you know who you are?  Job seekers can emerge from unemployment more focused and in sync with what they really want and need.  Being in-between jobs is the perfect time to reassess your path.  If you felt you were going in the wrong direction, now is the time to get on a more fulfilling road.  Did you have a job in finance but want to try something different?  Have you been considering going to graduate school to advance your career?  A career counselor can help walk you through the job search process, offer assessment tests of what jobs best fit your personality, or can help you answer any of those difficult questions.

9. Do something you always wanted to do:

While waiting for a job, remember you can enjoy life.  You might not get the luxury of having this much free time again.  Use that to your advantage and do the fun creative things you have always wanted to do.  This lull could be the perfect opportunity to complete a personal endeavor you have been putting off.  Have you always wanted to start your own business?  An entrepreneurial assessment report from a career counselor will tell you if you have what it takes to do that.  Now is the time to do the things you always wanted to do and explore possibilities.

10. Stay Positive:

How we define the situations we are placed in determines our action and how we are going to work towards the outcome we desire.  Action is a positive force.  Hopefully you have a friend, group, or family member that helps you stay optimistic in your job search.  If you do not stay positive you will not be motivated to take the necessary steps to find the right job.

~~I am a strong believer that people create a certain energy in their job search process.When people ask you, ‘’what do you do?”  You can smile and say that you are in-between jobs.  That comes from a sense of confidence in your self, your resume and in the image you created for yourself.   In the end you will accomplish your goal of getting a job.  But while you are in-between jobs, get up and stay motivated by following these 10 steps.~~


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