Smart Things to Do When You’re Unemployed

Smart Things to Do When Youre UnemployedLearn how to make the most out of your time when you’re out of work.

Have you been unemployed for a long while— and you’re looking to be more productive? Here are some things you can do to make the most of your time:

1. Volunteer.

This is a great way for you to keep your skills up-to-date and learn new skills at the same time. Volunteering will give you an opportunity to be exposed to new fields — and you can include that volunteer work in your resume. Doing something worthwhile and connecting with others will boost your confidence, and that will come through in your next interview.

Volunteering will also expand your network. You’ll be working alongside a great group of people who can serve as future references and vouch for your work ethic and skills.

2. Be visible in your field.

Join a professional association related to your industry, and where applicable, volunteer to take on a leadership role. If you see a gap in representation (such as young professionals), ask if you can create a new group under the organization’s umbrella.

Don’t forget to build your personal brand online by signing up on different social media sites. This will help you increase your knowledge of your field and get to know people from the same industry. Be willing to join different groups and engage in conversation, connect with others,and build credibility.

3. Learn a new skill.

There’s always something new to learn, and it can be much easier to learn new skills and integrate new knowledge when you have plenty of extra time. Take the time to study something related to your industry so that it will help your resume shine. As one option, you can look for different online courses that are available for free. Don’t stop growingbecause you’re out of work. With the Internet, there’s no excuse — Just make sure you’re getting your education from reliable (and preferably accredited) sources.

4. Catch up with your network. Don’t be shy about reaching out to your network, whether they have connections to a job opening or not. It’s always good to catch up with old friends —You never know when an opportunity might come your way. And don’t hesitate to contact your past managers and co-workers who liked your work. They can put in a good word for you when you need references in your new job.

Being out of work can be difficult. But you can use your free time to your advantage — as long as you know how to use it wisely.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.