When you’re between jobs, it can be a tough time. You have a lot of free time on your hands, and you may be feeling bored, restless, and anxious about the future. But this transnational phase can also be an opportunity for personal growth, skill development, and exploration.
In this article, we’ll give you some practical tips on how to make the most of your time between jobs or missions as a consultant. We’ll help you use your time wisely, reduce stress, and improve your job- missions prospects.
In January 2023, the federal jobs report delivered a remarkable surprise. It revealed one of the most substantial job increases since the pandemic began, with an impressive addition of 517,000 new jobs to the U.S. labor market. This boost also brought the unemployment rate down to 3.4% a historic low not seen since 1969.
The bulk of the new jobs, about 128,000, emerged in the leisure and hospitality sector. Additionally, substantial gains were made in professional and business services (82,000), government (74,000), & health care (58,000) industries.
However, it’s important to note that while the January jobs report paints a positive picture, not all industries have experienced the same fortune in the new year. For instance, the tech industry has witnessed over 100,000 layoffs across 340 companies since the beginning of 2023.
In January 2023, the most recent data reveals that the average duration of unemployment, when seasonally adjusted, is approximately 20 weeks. While facing unemployment can be undoubtedly stressful situation, it’s crucial for jobseekers not to lose hope.
The labor department has reported that as of December 2022, there are more than 11 million job openings across the United States. This means that, on average, there are nearly two job opportunities available for every jobseeker in the country.
Rest assured, it’s just a matter of time before you secure a new role. In the interim, here are seven Ways to maximize your time during unemployment, benefiting both your emotional well-being and professional development.
Before starting your next job or mission, it’s important to take some time to reflect on your career journey so far and set clear goals for yourself. This will help you make the most of your time at your new job – mission and ensure that you are working towards your long-term career goals.
Start by thinking about the roles you’ve held in the past. What have you enjoyed the most? What areas do you want to improve in? What projects or tasks have you successfully executed? What impact have you made? Once you have a good understanding of your strengths, interests, and accomplishments, you can start to think about your long-term career goals.
Do you want to advance within your current field? Explore something new? Once you know what you want, you can set clear and realistic short-term and long-term goals that align with your career aspirations.
For example, if you’re seeking a new career in marketing, your short-term goal could be to complete an online course in digital marketing within the next three months. Meanwhile, your long-term goal might involve securing a leadership position at a renowned marketing agency within the next three years. Having a clear plan will give you direction and motivation during your job search.
→ Some useful tips for setting effective goals:
- Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Break down your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Write down your goals and keep them in a place where you will see them often.
- Review your goals regularly and make adjustments as needed.
Setting clear goals for yourself is an important step in taking control of your career and achieving your goals. By taking the time to reflect on your experiences and identify your desired future, you can develop a plan to get you where you want to go.
Jobseekers, take note ! Employers still rely on resumes to screen candidates, so make sure yours in up to date and tailored to each job you apply for. Don’t make the mistake of submitting the same resume for every position. Instead, highlight the skills and achievements that are most relevant to the specific job you’re targeting.
Here are a few tips:
- Read the job description carefully. Pay attention to the required skills and experience, as well as the company’s mission and values.
- Identity your most relevant skills and experience. Highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Be sure to use keywords from the job description in your resume.
- Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. This will help employers to see the impact of your work. For example, instead of saying “ increased sales”, say “increased sales by 15%”
- Tailor your resume summary. Your resume summary is a brief overview of your skills and experience. Be sure to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for by highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the role.
- Proofread carefully. Typos and grammatical error can make your resume look unprofessional. Be sure to proofread your resume carefully before submitting it to any employers.
In addition to tailoring your resume, you should also build a strong online professional presence. This includes having a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile, as well as being active on other professional platforms, such as twitter and industry-specific forums.
Networking is the secret sauce to finding jobs or consulting missions. Zippia reports that 85% of jobs are found through personal and professional networking.
Many jobs are never advertised, so networking gives you access to this hidden job market. Through conversations and interactions, you may uncover leads and referrals that can boost your job search.
To network effectively:
- Reach out to your existing network, including friends, former colleagues, and mentors.
- Attend industry events, conferences, and seminars.
- Join professional associations and organizations.
- Engage and be active in online networking platforms and communities.
- Follow up and maintain relationships by staying in touch with your network.
By incorporating these methods into your networking strategy, you can build meaningful connections, expand your professional network, and increase your chances of finding new job opportunities.
Your downtime between jobs has a hidden advantage – freedom. No work emails or urgent calls to disrupt you. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn something new or improve existing skills related to your field.
- Identify Opportunities: Find online courses, workshops, or webinars that match your industry or career goals. The internet has made access to these resources easier than ever.
- Develop Expertise: Dive into emerging technologies, industry trends, or essential skills like communication and project management. Continuous learning not only enhances your marketability but also makes you a more attractive candidate for future employers.
So, make the most of this free time to enhance your skills and become an even stronger candidate in your job search.
Consider volunteering or freelancing during your job gap to gain valuable hands-on experience and expand your portfolio. Look for opportunities in your field or with organizations aligned with your interests.
- Join Online Freelancing Platforms: Explore platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, where you can offer your services in various areas such as programming, project management, or software development. These platforms connect freelancers with clients seeking specific skills. Freelancing enables you to work on diverse projects, build a client base, and showcase your talents.
- Engage in Virtual Volunteering: Organizations like VolunteerMatch and United Nations Volunteers offer remote volunteering opportunities. You can contribute your expertise in web design, content creation, data analysis, or mentoring. These websites list various virtual volunteer positions to choose from.
- Connect with Nonprofits: Reach out to local nonprofits or community organizations that align with your interests and inquire about volunteer roles. They often need assistance with events, marketing, website maintenance, or administrative tasks. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can be fulfilling and help you expand your professional network.
- Contribute to Open-Source Projects: Platforms like GitHub host numerous projects that rely on volunteers to enhance and expand their codebases. Contributing to open-source projects allows you to improve your coding skills, collaborate with other developers, and make a positive impact on the software community. It also provides opportunities to connect with professionals and acquire new skills.
Engaging in volunteering and freelancing not only offers practical experience but also connects you with a broader network of professionals while allowing you to continuously develop your skills.
Transition periods can take a toll on your emotional and mental well-being. It’s perfectly fine to take a short break and focus on self-care. Use this time to rest, recharge, and clarify your next steps. Incorporate exercise, nutritious meals, and sufficient sleep into your daily routine. Engaging in activities that help you relax and rejuvenate, such as pursuing hobbies, practicing meditation, or spending time with loved ones, can be immensely beneficial.
Consider joining jobseeker support groups, attending career coaching sessions, or participating in online communities. These spaces offer a platform to share experiences and challenges with individuals in similar situations. When your mind is in a balanced and refreshed state, you’ll be better equipped to tackle your job search effectively.
Make the most of this period by starting a side project that aligns with your interests or career aspirations. It could be a personal blog, a podcast, or any creative endeavor. If you’ve ever contemplated launching your own business or pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, now might be the perfect time to research, plan, and take those initial steps toward realizing your entrepreneurial goals.
Finding a job can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not having success on your own. That’s where Pentabell Staffing comes in.
Our team of skilled recruiters is dedicated to connecting you with the perfect job opportunity, taking the stress and hassle out of the mission search process. We’ll work with you to understand your unique skills, experience, and career goals, then pair you with employers who are looking for a consultant just like you.
We also believe in fair treatment and a positive work environment, so we’ll only connect you with companies that prioritize your well-being.