Being unemployed is never fun, and it can be very time consuming depending on the amount of time you spend “pounding the pavement” looking for work. Of course in this day and age, pounding the pavement is less literal since so much can be done electronically from the comfort of your residence. So, what are some things you can be doing in the midst of your job searching?
Education is almost always a benefit for your career, and it is important in most careers to continue learning. During this time of unemployment, apply yourself to learning something new, or brushing up on things long forgotten. Depending on your career, this could be done by simply going to the library and checking out something related to your career, and studying a new or variant aspect of your field.
Keeping up with the newest “technology” of your career is a great way to be “worth” more and stay on the cutting edge of your field. Reading trade magazine/articles/books, or seeking additional education through online studies, physical classes, and other avenues of education will almost always be beneficial. It is not uncommon during an interview to be asked about recent studies in your field, so it is always good to be up on some of the latest trends.
During this time of unemployment, check your local area and see if there are any schools or classes that can benefit your career path. Branch out a little and seek educations and certifications in areas that are not so directly related to your specialty, but that may make you more rounded, and thus more desirable as an employee.
For me, there came a time where I felt my job was a dead end, and I needed to change something. I had been doing web design on the side as a hobby and for a few dollars here and there for smaller “clients” that came my way. So, I decided to check out a local accelerated trade type school and went back to school fulltime for almost eighteen months. Once I graduated, I was actually hired by the school in their web department, so I couldn’t ask for a much faster way to find employment in my new career.
Many people can get depressed or frustrated while unemployed, and that can lead to zero motivation to do anything much. It is important to stay in the game and work to use the time to the fullest advantage. Since you probably have a little more free time while unemployed, use it to your advantage by applying it to something that can benefit not only you as a person, but your job search/skills, and career as a whole.
Additional education, expanding and broadening your skills, or a total cross-training into another related field are all good ways to spend your time in order to better yourself for the future. Redeem the time during unemployment to the best advantage you can.