How to Apply for Jobs When You’re Out of a Job – Part Two
In our last blog, we showed how to maintain a positive attitude whilst focussing your attention on how to apply for jobs when you are out of a job. In this article, we’ll look at some other ways you can positively use your time whilst looking for a new position.
Last time, we explained how important it is to treat job hunting as if it were a job in itself. This cannot be overstated enough. However, just like a normal job, it’s important to remember to take a break every now and then. Take a reasonable amount of time off from your weekly job hunt to recharge and rest up. Letting yourself rest will maximise your productivity during the hours you job search.
Even if you don’t have extra money for entertainment, a walk or visit to the park can do wonders to help you go back and attack your job hunt. Also, much like organising your life, another good way to keep yourself enthusiastic and healthy is to exercise. It doesn’t take much to get slightly more active, and exercise can help you stay positive. Even a walk around the block a few times a week can do a lot for keeping you motivated and determined. If you take care of yourself, you can make the most of this extra time.
Another good idea to preserve your self-worth is to partition some time in your week for some volunteer work. Volunteering is an excellent way to use the extra time when you are unemployed. Additionally, if you volunteer in an area related to your job qualifications, you can often include the experience on your resume.
After all, employers would prefer to see that people have remained busy and focused in between jobs. For example, an accountant could spend one day a week book-keeping for a community group or an IT professional could act as a consultant for local school looking to update their website. This looks considerably better on your resume than a blank few months.
As an active job seeker, you should think about what skills you can offer, and how much time you can reasonably commit to voluntary work. Also, what kinds of voluntary work you would like to do and what kinds of organisations would you to be a part of? No one is reasonably expecting a life-long commitment; however, it is important to choose a voluntary activity that benefits both parties.
You’ll immediately find that doing good is a true morale booster and is sure to help you stay optimistic while looking for your next job.
This could also be a great opportunity to upskill and take professional development in your chosen field, or even to train in a new field to broaden your employability. Look for certifications or training you could take, especially those offered for free.
You can qualify more for even entry-level positions with extra training in your line of work. Refreshing your resume, and interview and job skills may make your job hunt easier.
Lastly, and very importantly, be kind to yourself. It’s essential to challenge negative self-talk, such as “It’s all my fault I don’t have a job”, or “Nobody is going to want to employ me”, or “Why even try!”. Psychologists recognise that this sort of self-defeating talk doesn’t help, and an important first step is to start challenging this negative way of thinking. So, stay healthy in mind and body. Keep up the regular exercise, eat well, and if you have a health issue, go along to the GP to sort it out before it becomes more serious.
Continuing to work, whether as a contractor, a volunteer, or a temporary employee, keeps your skills up-to-date, expands your network, and fills a gap on your resume. Remember, in an uncertain economy; it is not uncommon to hit a bump in the road during your career. How you handle it is what makes the difference going forward.