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If you’re in your twenties or thirties you’ve probably been in this position: in between jobs. It’s the most frustrating place to be in, especially when your applications aren’t going anywhere. However, instead of thinking of this time as a waste or being stuck, you can make the most of it. Get crafty and grow! You have the time now, why not make the most of it?
That’s why today I want to share my personal tips and experiences with being in between jobs.
HAVE A ROUTINE
One of the things I can highly recommend when you’re in between jobs is to set up a routine. It’s one of the elements of not having a job where I need to be between certain hours that I struggle with. Having a routine will help you stay disciplined, productive and the transition to having a job or business will be much easier.
You don’t need to get up at 5am but make sure you get up and go to sleep at the same hour every day. Have a work out routine to make sure you don’t fall into a funk and set intentions every day. On Instagram Stories I did a small poll for tips from people who are in between jobs or have been and someone said they go out running so they can clear their mind and have room for new ideas. Working out — whether it’s running, going to the gym or yoga — is always a good idea to incorporate into your routine.
SEE IT AS A TIME TO GROW
Instead of looking at this time as a waste, see it as a time to grow. You have all this time at your hands — which most of it will be about applying for jobs — to take advantage of. Right now you might think ‘what should I do with all this time’ or waste it by sleeping away — I’ve been there! But once you actually have a job you won’t have that much time to spend on personally development or projects. So see this moment as a time to grow personally but also professionally.
It’s also a great time to switch careers. The poll on Instagram showed that a lot of followers are really happy with their jobs right now but some would love a change and even change careers. When you’re in between jobs the world is actually at your feet. You don’t have a job any way so why not look into changing career paths. It can be daunting at first because it’s going to be new and you might not have the work experience. I’ve never dreamed of going into designing. It was something I’ve thanked about a lot but I’ve never saw it happening because I didn’t have the skills or the experience. But here I am, doing it anyway. So why not take the leap? You can always go back to your old career. But. Take. The. Chance.
LEARN A NEW SKILL
What to do when you’re in between jobs? Learn a new skills! Like I said above, you have the time to grow so why not work on a new skill that will help you personally or professionally — and make you an even better candidate on the job market. Not only do you grow from it, you also have a new skill to add to your resume and you can use it to explain a gap in your CV. Or it’s a good topic to just chit chat about with the recruiter.
Although I have my own branding business at the moment I still want to get a parttime job. To make me a more interesting candidate I’m trying to master new skills like video editing. It’s a skills that I see in every content creation or content marketing job description so it’s a good move for me to invest in.
To decide which skill you want to master professionally, look at job descriptions. What’s one skill that always seems to pop up in vacancies? Look online on YouTube for a free resource or Skillshare for a free or paid course. For video editing I actually ended up following this Skillshare course which was not only free but also really helpful in getting to know Adobe Premiere 2019. Another thing I did that boosted my career was doing a traineeship. Yes it was grossly underpaid but I ended up growing my skills and with work experience that all of the sudden made me a better candidate for other companies. Sometimes you need to weigh the pros and cons or, most of the time, compromise.
Looking for personal development in between jobs because you want to take a different career path? Or just because you want to work on yourself? Make a list of the things that you want and can change and look for resources like books or podcasts. I’ve listed three of my favorite ones below.
WORK ON YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING
These days it’s becoming more and more important to not just have the right skillset or work experience, you actually need to brand yourself to stand out. Maybe in some cases a good letter and resume will do the trick but I’m certain that any potential employer will check out your social media profiles.
Although not all your profiles are for your job, you at least need to have an updated LinkedIn. It’s a great way to connect with your professional network and keep them in the loop of what you’re doing or when you need help like finding a job. Update your profile with all your relevant work experience, your studies and courses. Above all, don’t forget to write an intro about who you are, why you do what you do and how you envision your future.
After updating your LinkedIn profile with all the relevant information, add skills. Skills are important if you’re using the jobs section of LinkedIn — which you should if you’re looking for a job! Recruiters and companies can see immediately if you have the right skillset and you can check how many of the skills you have. Make sure that your friends or people from your network boost your skills and reach out to people to write recommendations on your LinkedIn page. The more you get boosted and recommended, the more value your work experience gets.
Personal social profiles
It’s actually kind of vital to wipe your profiles clean of “indecent” images and texts. Look, personally I think it’s kind of BS because you’re a person and you should be able to do what you want. And in some cases it doesn’t really matter for a job unless it’s not racist or taking things too far. However, companies think differently about it. My advice, put all your personal accounts on lockdown from the public and everything you do post public content on you should just think twice about whether it will hurt your career. Or if you want to work at a company that would not approve of your content.
REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL WOMEN GANG
As a freelancer it can often times get a little lonely because you’re working all by yourself and you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas of off. When I look back at times where I was in between jobs I would have loved to have the network of women I have now. They experience the same things that I do, they’re open to share their own experiences and they have their own networks that they don’t mind sharing. And I do the same for them.
It’s incredibly helpful to have a network of people — outside of your regular friends — that are either in the same boat or do have jobs. Even if it’s just one person you know directly or via a friend, meet up for coffee and talk business and careers. Human contact is super important when you’re in between jobs to boost your mood and keep you motivated that what you want to achieve is actually achievable. And you might even end up with a new job.
ALSO READ: 6 TED TALKS BY INSPIRING, AMBITIOUS WOMEN
HAVE A SIDE PROJECT
One of the best things I’ve done — even though my parents might disagree — is starting this blog. So I don’t make an awfully lot of money from this blog. Hell I loose money on it to be honest but it has given me skills that have helped me get jobs. Because of this job I’ve learned about SEO, social media marketing and content marketing. It helped me keep my design skills on point and even grew my design skills. I don’t know where I would’ve been if I didn’t start my blog out of college.
That’s why I’m a big believer in side projects. Yes it’s great if you can get a little income out of it — which I’m trying now with the blog — but mostly it’s a good way keep yourself entertaint in between jobs. You can upkeep your skills, learn new ones and create a passion project you’re excited about.
Make a list of potential side projects — without thinking about how much money it can generate — and pick it up. Start small and who knows, maybe it will turn into a new career.
DO THE THINGS YOU NORMALLY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME FOR
The best thing about being in between jobs? You have seas of time to do the things you would normally not do because you’re tired or just want to do fun things outside of work. Do some spring cleaning. Meet up more with friends. Go out for a run at a normal time of the day instead of early, in the cold morning. What are things you want to do that you normally wouldn’t have time for? Go do them!