The Importance of How You Spend Your Time Between Jobs – Various Options and Strategies You Should Think Of
With resume gaps now the norm, workers should pay attention to how they spend their time between jobs.
The reason is simple: Employers want to know how job candidates spent their time when they were out of work. Learning? Traveling? Moping? Being productive or non productive ? Planning for the future and doing things or just sitting around as if you were putting in time in a prison cell ? Unless you project the image of a can-do job seeker, you’re likely to have a tough time bouncing back from periods of unemployment.
Most job interviewers will be looking at what you doing to be productive with your time during your period between jobs.
One cannot stress the importance of demonstrating continued involvement with career-oriented activities. It’s not only critically important to the employer, but it’s important to the candidate as well . It takes away feelings of depression, discouragement and hopelessness.
To project an active, engaged attitude during a job search consider these tips for being productive when you’re out of work.
Volunteer your services . Volunteering provides “a double benefit”. In addition to giving back to a cause or organization, you get to work with people who see you in action. It becomes a great new networking environment .
Be a Leader. Join a professional organization, but don’t just attend meetings. Instead, take your involvement to the next level by serving on a board or organizing events. Through that you will often end up finding your next job .
Try taking classes . Employers are often wary about job candidates with outdated skills, especially in technical fields. If you take a class, or even begin pursuing an advanced degree, you already have a ready-made way of countering that perception as you demonstrate your engagement in the field.
Find an Internship . Those early in their careers may want to consider an internship, even if they have previously held a full-time job. The same goes for workers considering a career transition. An interneship may even help you with career transitions.
You may want to try teaching a cllass . Universities, community colleges and continuing-education programs such as in your local Y or in your local shool board often seek experienced people as well as professionals to teach classes. Aside from being a potential avenue for networking, teaching gigs look impressive to employers, positioning you as someone with expertise in your field and the ability to impart that expertise to others.
You can even try to be a Consultant to local organizations , businesses or local non-profit groups . If you are involved in a drawn-out job search try setting yourselv up as an independent consultant
Get business cards and a website. Your assignments may be small ones, but being a consultant allows you to market yourself as someone active and involved in your field.
Perhaps you should join a “Job Seekers Group”. Churches, libraries and other organizations often host groups for job seekers. These groups often serve to help people make contacts and provide support.
You should build social networks . With jobs and other commitments, many people find they don’t have time to develop the sort of social networks crucial to a productive life — and career. Often people ” get it done after they get everything else done,”
You should spend your time expanding social networks. Those connections often mean as much as professional ones during a job search. Start talking to your neighbour, and you learn they know X, Y , Z and B . It has been said by a very wise person
Raymond Strokon that if you know 5 people you know the world .
Have you ever thought of starting a business ? If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, a period of unemployment may actually be the time to try to pull it off. There was a telecommunications executive who started actually initianted a Web hosting company with a number of friends during a serious time of his “between jobs “.
Now his partners have other engagements now and then, but their cooperative arrangement allows them to spend more or less time on the business as their schedules permit. And, not surprisingly, networking for tis business helps in other aspects of their careers.
Remember always to have fun . Life should not be serious. Everything always seems to work out. Remember that ” in the long run we all will be dead.”
Enjoy yourself . Play golf. Go for a run. You may even want to build something or do something that you always wanted to and never had the time before . Perhaps a rec room or a backyard gazebo . It will gives you something good to talk and think about . It can set the tone of your conversation. And conversation, whether online or off, is often the lifeblood of a productive job search.
How To Make A Net – Work!
Many job seekers are confused about networking, and therefore doubt its effectiveness. Networking is the art of building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. So, like anything else, networking requires a bit of practice and finesse, but if done correctly, networking can be an invaluable part of your job search campaign.
Here are a few tips that can help develop a network that works for you:
Networking doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process. Networking is not just something you can check off your job search list like “Send resume to Pfizer”.
While people may want to help you, they might not be able to do so right away.Quite simply, you may not be the first item on their agenda. So, if someone agrees to meet with you but can’t do so immediately, accept their offer graciously and patiently. Never let an opportunity to meet with someone during the course of networking slip away. Always be open to meeting!
Be Authentic and Kind
When you do meet with someone resulting from your scheduling attempts, take a sincere interest in their life, not just the information or possible assistance they can offer you. Don’t push people for their knowledge or connections and then abandon the relationship. Networking means fostering relationships. This objective cannot be achieved by one person constantly taking while the other person constantly gives information or time. Relationships are built on trust and sharing over time.
Remember, one day you might be in a reverse career position; so be considerate and respectful to all you meet. Find ways to periodically reconnect with the contacts in your network to stay up to date on their lives,and let them know that you genuinely care about what is going on with them. Also, connecting and re-connecting, take the time to let them know that their advice and counsel was heard and put to good use. Acknowledging their individual value to you and to your career. Reinforcement of the time and advice offered by those in your network will foster gratefulness, awareness of their value to you and encourage them to continue helping you and others.
Be a Conduit
Remember, the objective of networking isÖwellÖmore networking. You should be constantly adding people to your list of contacts. Always find more contacts to meet and, in turn, become a great connector yourself! Open up your network to others. Hopefully they’ll follow suit and do the same for you, keeping the cycle going. Think about those contacts who could help others in your network,then introduce them!
Be a Teacher
Keep in mind that not everyone you meet will understand what networking is or how they can help you. Many people think that the best way they can help you as a job seeker is to take your resume and pass it along to their human resources department. While their intentions are noble, their strategy won’t help you and could actually wind up being counter-productive and consequently,losing you a great job.
HR managers, like recruiters, are sometimes only motivated to take action on your resume if there is a current job opening within the organization that matches your skills. If a position is not available, they have no incentive to contact you and the connection is lost.
Rather than giving your contacts a resume, ask them if they could introduce you to a member of their company so that you can learn more about their position, industry, and organization. This way, you’ll learn more about the company, share information about yourself, and begin to build a relationship rather than ending up as just another resume lost at the bottom of the pile.
Be a Helper
Networking is all about reciprocity. No matter who you’re dealing with, you should always try to give more than you receive. For example, if you have information about a particular company, industry, or educational program that would be valuable to someone in your network, share it. By sharing you will help others and in turn, others will help you.
Whether you’re currently employed or job seeking is irrelevant – networking is a constant process. Obviously, you’ll be more on the receiving end of your contacts’ information when you’re on the look out for a new job. But that just means you need to work that much harder at giving information and sharing your network while happily employed.
If you’re constantly looking for ways to help people in your network achieve their goals, they’ll be much more likely to help you in return.
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