Looking for a job in a tough market can be difficult. After all, you may have the right skills and experience, but it still could take a while to actually find a good fit. So, while you’re in limbo, is it OK to just lay low or actually do something with this new found free time? Well, the latter may be your best option since it shows employers that you weren’t just sitting on your couch, watching movies.
What can you do while you’re waiting?
Intern. Interning is a great way to gain experience, whether you’re in-between jobs, changing careers, or want to up your resume. Even if you’ve already graduated from college, interning can do more than just fill in the gaps; it may be the path to your next career. By interning, you may gain powerful contacts in addition to ample experience. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Volunteer. Like interning, volunteering is an activity you could pursue if you want to expand your knowledge base. However, volunteering allows you to help you community, whether it be local, national or international, in a different sort of way.
How? Well, say you are interested in the medical field. It may be a good idea to volunteer for causes within your industry. Volunteering for organisations like the American Red Cross allows you to pursue your interests for the benefit of a greater cause. Further, volunteering may give you the chance to figure out what direction you really want to pursue, and what you’d rather leave to more experienced professionals.
Network. In any profession or industry, networking may be one of the only ways you can connect with thought leaders and influencers for the purpose of promoting your skills and experiences.
However, what’s great about networking today is that it can be done anywhere from an industry conference to the comfort of your own home. Use the time you have off to network with people that may be able to help you pursue your goals. Discuss your background, your expertise, and even a few work samples. But, you should remember that networking is a two-way street. After all, not everything is about you. Listen, absorb, and give feedback. That way, people you are networking with will have a reason to talk to you again.
Blog. Blogging a few times a week creates content, which means that when an employer Googles you, there’s a good chance they will be able to find more than just your LinkedIn profile. So, it will probably look good to an employer when they see your dedication to an activity that isn’t a universal requirement.
Remember to blog about a niche that not only interests you, but also will lead you toward the path of thought leadership. At the same time, you may want to think about longevity when it comes to blogging since it could be difficult to switch up your focus once you’ve already established a name for yourself.
Clean up your online image. One of the easiest things you can do when job searching is cleaning up your online image. Think about untagging those questionable Facebook photos, making your profile private, updating your LinkedIn account, creating a Vizibility SearchMe link, and editing your Twitter bio. That way, if an employer looks you up online, they won’t have to question your experience based on what they find.
What activities do you stick to when job searching?