So you’re on the job hunt, and have sent out résumés for pretty much every job posting out there. Now what? It’s important that you stay focused on your goals—rather than getting sucked into daytime TV and loafing around the house. Even if you currently have a job, and are more than ready to move on, there are ways to stay productive to keep that momentum going and ultimately find what you are looking for. Here are five essential things to do when you’re in between jobs, from our experts.
Let it be known—to past coworkers, friends and family, recruiters in the area, and even that guy on his laptop next to you at Starbucks—that you are in the market for a new job. Find out if they know of any openings, and if not, to keep you on their radar if they do hear of something. Make connections with others in your industry on LinkedIn, so you are top of mind when the time comes that your skills are needed. If you do hear of an open position, and someone you know has an in, don’t be shy—ask them to send your résumé to the hiring manager on your behalf. Most people will happily help, and a referral is always a company’s preferred method of hiring.
Make a list of professionals who you have worked for that can vouch for your awesomeness. Send a well-written message to each one asking if you could use them as a reference. Make a list, including their contact information, to keep for future use. When you get close to being extended an offer, and a company asks for references, you will have that ready, so you can join the working world again. You can also ask for referral letters from previous bosses or coworkers, or even a nice mention on LinkedIn.
Find ways to continue using your skills—consider volunteering, or even taking a class to freshen up on the latest tricks of the trade. It’s important exercise your brain power, so when you are offered employment, you’ll be at your sharpest and ready to hit the ground running. This also helps when interviewing—if a hiring manager asks what you are currently doing, you’ll have something relevant to discuss. Spend some of your spare time reading industry articles online or motivational or educational books as well, just to stay informed and on your game.
Relax and rejuvenate
You may feel under the gun to find another job—which can be incredibly stressful. Know that it’s only a matter of time before you’re back in the workforce, so take this little pause in employment to take care of yourself. In between job hunting, interviewing, and networking, go for a bike ride, get some fresh air, go work out, do some yoga, travel, meet some friends for coffee, or even treat yourself to a massage. You work hard—it’s OK to give yourself a little break, so when you start your next job, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go. It’s also important to continue to shower and get dressed every morning, so you don’t get stuck in a rut, and you stay positive, focused, and motivated.
Work for yourself
Take this time in between jobs to develop your own personal brand, and explore non-traditional options. Talk to your recruiter about freelancing or taking on temp assignments—even part time work is enough to keep you busy and make some extra income, while also having time to job search for the perfect job. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do professionally, but never really had the time—start a blog or write a book, for example? Well, now you have time—do something that makes you happy, and you may find yourself making money doing it.
It’s easy to become bored, discouraged, or stressed when job searching—see this time as an opportunity to better yourself and get some things done, just for you. Keep in mind that you inevitably will find work, so make the most of your time, while you have it.
Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen.