Unemployment, regardless of the reason, is tough. It’s natural for job seekers to grieve, rant and rave, or become angry with being unemployed. And staying unemployed for a long period of time can add to your initial frustration.
However, once you work through the emotions you are experiencing, it’s time to get back on track and make unemployment productive by using your job search time wisely.
Organize Your Work Day as if You Were Employed
Yes, you’ve heard this before. But it still holds true. The only way to find a job is to actively look for one. And the only way to look for a job is by organizing each day to reach your job hunting goals.
For unemployed job seekers this includes identifying how and where to look for employment, preparing a great cover letter and resume, going on job interviews, attending a class or networking event, learning how to market yourself or doing whatever it takes.
Sure it would be easier to lie around all day and watch television, but in order to find a new position unemployed job seekers have to be proactive. That means you need to advance your job search each day by committing to accomplishing at least one goal.
Job Seekers Can Brush-up Old Job Skills and Add News Ones
While looking for a new job will likely take up a lot of your time, it is important to keep your job skills fresh. And as difficult as unemployment might be, it just might be the most opportune time to learn a new software program, take a much needed class or even brush-up on resume writing and interviewing skills.
While job seekers plan and organize their day, they should consider what skills employers most frequently request and be sure they have those skills. You can look for free and relatively inexpensive skills training courses at community colleges, community-based organizations, and government sponsored services such as CareerOneStop.org.
Unemployed Workers Should Join a Career Search and Networking Group
Okay, here’s another one you’ve heard before. You need to network; not only during times of unemployment, but whenever you get the chance.
That’s where career support and networking groups come in. Career support and networking groups offer practical and emotional support to people who are unemployed by providing encouragement, networking opportunities, and career support and guidance.
Networking groups include professional associations, alumni associations, local community-based career groups as well as social media networks. For anyone interested in finding the best career support and networking group for them, check out The Riley Guide.
Unemployed Workers Need to Gain New Work Experience
The difficulty with being unemployed for any length of time is that your skill sets and job knowledge get rusty. So it is important to keep your skills fresh by doing temporary, volunteer or part-time work.
Remember Hurricanes Charley, Frances and a few others that blew through Florida and the East Coast the end of summer 2004? Because of the damage they did, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hired a large group of temporary customer service reps in a few areas around the U.S. for about a six month period to process the claims of those who were affected. It was long hours for good pay.
And this year, the U.S. Census Bureau was testing and hiring census takers for the 2010 census. They were offering part-time, temporary jobs for those interested in working evenings and weekends. The U.S. Post Office is another federal agency that frequently hires part-time and temporary workers.
Now with the holiday season fast approaching, unemployed job seekers have a chance at another group of temporary employment opportunities. Retailers are in the process of hiring temporary seasonal retail workers for Halloween as well as the winter holidays. If you are hoping to land a temporary seasonal retail job, now is the time.
The whole idea is that looking for work takes time and energy. And job seekers who are serious about finding the right position need to use their job search time and skills wisely.