Between Jobs? Here’s 5 Things You Should Be Doing

Job hunting is the obvious suggestion for how to fill your time when you’re unemployed or between contracts, but there are other things that you can do that will help you as you make your way to new opportunities and experiences.

Whether you are taking a career break or found yourself involuntarily looking for work, what you do in between jobs can help to set up your future. Read on to find five things that you can do to keep your skills current while you’re looking for a new job. For more articles about employment, training and human resources matters, bookmark

Job search in progress
photo credit: slightly everything

1. Create A Job

Even if working for yourself isn’t your end goal, doing some freelance work or reaching out to your network to do some project collaboration can be a really good way to keep your skills current and your mind active during your unemployment period. With advances in digital technology, sometimes you can start a boot strapped business with limited capital.

2. Do Some Work Experience

Make a list of companies in industries you’d like to work in and see if you are able to do some work experience in your dream field. Not only are you keeping busy and progressing your experience, but it can also be a great networking opportunity and may even lead to a job offer.

3. Volunteer

Many community organisations, charities and arts groups are over worked and under resourced and would welcome an offer from a qualified, experienced person to help them out with some of their tasks. This also looks good on your resume and can be a very rewarding, fulfilling experience. Even if you can’t volunteer in your field, spending time at the local nursing home or animal shelter would be well received by the staff there and can help give you some purpose and perspective.

4. Network

Connecting with your existing network and finding new ways to meet like-minded people is rarely a fruitless exercise. Often these connections can be a great source of leads and information. Keep this up when you are in a new job too – networking is all about the relationships so it’s important to keep up the rapport when you don’t need their help too.

5. Enjoy The Downtime

Even if gallivanting off on that overseas holiday you’ve been dreaming of isn’t viable, you can still do things like catching up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read, enjoy lunches with friends, hitting up the gym – think about what you’d really like to spend your days doing and find ways to relax and rejuvenate while you don’t have the pressure of the 9-5 daily grind.

While keeping up-to-date with vacancies in your field and updating your resume are important steps in the job hunting process, they won’t completely fill your time. Devoting some of your day to getting more experience, creating your own position or even just enjoying the break will all help put you in good stead for your future dream job.

What advice would you give to people who find themselves looking for work?