4 Things Job Hunters Can Do with Their Time Off
Take advantage of this “free time” to dream. I do not mean the Walter Mitty type of fantasies, although that is not such a bad thing. Explore your options, even those you thought were impossible.
While networking, I perused articles on job searching, people in transition, career realignments and just plain, spent way too much time on the internet (not something I want to admit but it must be said).
One can easily become mesmerized or possibly addicted to surfing the internet. It becomes one’s crutch. Signing up to webinars and teleseminars, particularly those that are free, become a challenge you cannot seem to pass on. Psychologically, it appears to justify your productivity. In most cases, that is true. However, if you are signing up for the same lectures and topics, you will over-saturate the information intake. It is time to do something different.
The fact that a majority of us are now into the one year, and quite possibly two-year displaced/unemployment mark, we are forced to face the daunting task of explaining this gap. Personally, I resent the fact that I have to overcome the implication that I might be wasting time, doing the process all wrong (who said there is just one right way to job searching?), and worst yet, that there must be a lack or failing on our part.
Morale and motivation become additional hurdles that we need to overcome. Who thought that to logon, navigate the job openings, target the resume, prepare a corresponding cover letter, apply creative investigative tactics in order to find the hiring manager, and then, emailing your documents with a silent prayer that it will be opened, and more importantly, selected for consideration, would be so time consuming? You hope to increase the selection odds by doing the whole process over, and over and over again. Gives new meaning to burning the candlewick on both ends!
What can you do to diffuse that stress? Find something interesting to do, which could complement the job search, or not.
1. Volunteer – The fact that most of the non and not-for profit organizations are hurting given the difficult financial market, they count their blessings to have qualified and motivated volunteers. The quality of those offering their time and service probably surpasses their expectations but certainly not their needs. You are performing a generous act.
2. Go back to school – Yes, you heard me, go back to academia. The Department of Unemployment provides federally funded programs to assist professionals with financial assistance. Pursue a certification or professional degree. Take this opportunity to learn something new and of interest. It could enhance your marketability as well. Of course, like most public funding, there is a tedious application process, and requirements that could discourage most. As they say, where there is a will, you must find the way.
3. Apply a hidden talent to a new venture – Like yours truly, you can find yourself penning articles, via blogs, websites and/or participating in interviews or discussion panels. You need to find your niche, however. You need to offer something that is of interest and value. A timely topic is vital, keeping in mind readership. How ironic, huh, that I could write about being laid off and all the wonderful (sarcastically she says) trappings that come with this difficult process? Does it take prior experience? My response, a resounding No! You need heart and desire, inspiration and imagination and related knowledge. There are hidden talents that are screaming to be set free … let them go!
4. Start/learn new creative projects -Take, for example, a jewelry making or art class. I am confident, that there is a means by which you can combine this newfound love with a new job or business. At the very least, it will be meditative and cathartic. You will meet like-minded artists who may inspire or re-enforce your new career track. Of this, I have no doubt.
The moral of this story, find a positive in the negative, and take advantage of this time to explore the endless possibilities. You will be surprised where it may lead … a new job, a new career, or simply, some newfound happiness and personal enjoyment. If nothing else, we will have faced some hardships, and there will be some overwhelming struggles, then, the proverbial, light at the end of the tunnel … and you find yourself in a new adventure … you just might be the new and great “____”….YOU fill in the blank!
Orietta is a Career Jockey frequent contributor. The majority of her articles appear in our Currently Lookin’ column. You can learn all about her or contact her directly via her Linkedin profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/oriettaramirez.