How can I keep busy while I'm unemployed?
Although there is some solace in the fact that frequent corporate downsizing, international relocation and reorganisation are the norm in today's world, regardless of whether you have been unemployed for one month or one year you may begin to feel like damaged goods.
And, clouding every interview that you attend is the dreaded question about why you have been unemployed for so long. But relax. The tips below will show you how you can, with the right approach, minimise prospective employer doubts and maximise your chances of getting re-hired.
Keep your skills up to date
When you have been out of work for a prolonged period of time, you need to work harder at your job search than someone who is still employed, which means that you need to find ways of improving your employment value.
Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and developments in your industry by reading trade journals, taking a career-related course and attending industry conferences .
Get your name out there
Remember that not all jobs are advertised in the conventional way.
Tell friends and ex-colleagues that you are looking for work and ask if they know of any companies that employ people with your skills. Word-of-mouth is your biggest promotional tool so use it to the maximum.
Online networking also has its benefits, especially if you can create a blog, writing about the industry in which you work. It will show potential employers your expertise and put you in contact with people you may have otherwise not come across.
Providing articles for trade publications, or volunteering as a speaker at an industry seminar will also have the same effect.
Unfortunately, your financial outgoings don't stop when your final salary does. But before you tap into your savings, consider marketing the skills and experience you fine-tuned when you were employed.
Let your former clients and business contacts know that you are available for consultancy/freelance projects. Even voluntary work will help fill the gap on your CV. This not only keeps your skills updated , it also demonstrates your determination to find work and could open up new career opportunities.
If you can demonstrate to employers that you have been doing everything you can to find work and to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, most will overlook the fact that you are currently unemployed.
Always remain positive - rejections are part of life. Each ‘no' that you get moves you closer to that all-important ‘yes'.