Being in-between jobs can be a challenging and uncertain period for job seekers. The abundance of free time can lead to feelings of boredom, restlessness, and anxiety about the future. However, this transitional phase can also be an opportunity for personal growth, skill development, and exploration.
In this article, we will provide practical tips to help you make the most of your time between jobs, enabling you to use your time effectively, reduce stress, and enhance your job prospects.
10 Effective Ways to Maximize Your Time Between Jobs
Before your next employment, here’s what you can do that’ll make your time worthwhile.
1. Reflect and Set Goals
Take a moment to think about your career journey so far. Reflecting on what you enjoyed most and what areas you want to improve will help you better understand your strengths and interests.
- What roles have you held, and what have been the highlights and challenges?
- What projects or tasks did you successfully execute? And what was the impact you made?
- What are your long-term career aspirations?
- Do you want to advance within your current field or explore something new?
Consider what you truly want from your next work. Do you want to advance within your current field or explore something new? With this in mind, you can set clear and realistic short-term and long-term goals that align with your career aspirations.
If you’re seeking a new career in marketing, your short-term goal could be to complete an online course in digital marketing within the next three months. Meanwhile, your long-term goal might involve securing a leadership position in a renowned marketing agency within the next three years. This process will provide direction and boost your motivation during your career search.
2. Update and Enhance Your Resume
Employers still check resumes. So, the time between jobs provides a perfect opportunity to revisit your resume and update it with your most recent accomplishments and experiences. One major mistake many job seekers make is submitting the same resume for different positions.
If you’re planning to stick with your current profession or maybe you’re considering a new career path, be sure to tailor your resume to highlight the skills and achievements relevant to your desired job.
Resources and professional assistance are available online to help your resume stand out. Leverage these opportunities and also take advantage of this time to build a strong online professional presence by improving your profile on LinkedIn and other professional platforms.
3. Expand Your Network
Networking plays a very crucial role in finding new employment opportunities. According to Zippia, 85% of employment opportunities are secured through personal and professional networking.¹
Many job opportunities are not publicly advertised, and networking allows you to tap into this hidden job market. Through conversations and interactions, you may come across leads and referrals that can significantly enhance your search for employment opportunities. To network effectively, you can:
- Reach out to your existing contacts, including friends, former colleagues, and mentors.
- Attend industry events, conferences, and seminars.
- Join professional associations and organizations.
- Engage and be active in online networking platforms and communities.
- Follow up and maintain relationships by staying in touch with your network.
By incorporating these methods into your networking strategy, you can establish meaningful connections, expand your professional network, and increase your chances of finding new job opportunities. Be sure to approach networking with authenticity, curiosity, and a genuine interest in building relationships.
4. Learn and Upskill
While it may seem like your time between jobs is disadvantageous, it comes with one significant benefit—freedom. No work emails or phone calls requiring you to attend to tasks urgently. Without these interruptions, you can easily choose a course that relates to your current job or explore a new skill that can broaden your knowledge and gain new perspectives.
Identify areas where you can improve your skills or acquire new ones. The internet has made things a lot easier. You can find online courses, workshops, or webinars relevant to your industry or desired job. Develop your expertise in emerging technologies, industry trends, or transferable skills like communication or project management.
Continuous learning can enhance your marketability by making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
5. Volunteer or Freelance
You might want to consider volunteering or freelancing to gain hands-on experience and broaden your portfolio. Look into opportunities in your field or with organizations that match your interests.
Join online freelancing platforms.
Explore popular freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, where you can offer your services in various fields, such as programming, project management, or software development. These platforms connect freelancers with clients seeking specific skills.
Freelancing gives you the chance to work on different projects, establish a client base, and showcase your abilities.
Volunteer in virtual activities.
Organizations such as VolunteerMatch and United Nations Volunteers offer volunteering opportunities that can be done remotely. You can contribute your expertise in web design, content creation, data analysis, or mentoring. When you visit these websites, you get to see listings of different virtual volunteer positions that you can choose from.
Reach out to nonprofit organizations.
Reach out to local nonprofits or community organizations that align with your interests and inquire about volunteer opportunities. They often need assistance with events, marketing, website maintenance, or administrative tasks. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can be fulfilling and help you expand your network.
Contribute to open-source projects.
Platforms like GitHub host numerous projects that rely on volunteers to improve and expand their codebases. Contributing to open-source projects can help you enhance your coding skills, collaborate with other developers, and positively impact the software community.
Aside from making a positive impact, you also connect with other professionals and acquire new skills.
6. Practice Self-Care and Maintain a Routine
Transition periods can be emotionally and mentally draining. It’s okay to take a short break and prioritize self-care. Use this time to rest, recharge, and clarify your next steps. Consider incorporating exercise, nutritious meals, and enough sleep into your day. It’s also helpful to do things that help you relax and recharge, like pursuing your hobbies, practicing meditation, or hanging out with your favorite people.
You can also consider joining job seeker support groups, attending career coaching sessions, or utilizing online communities. These spaces provide a platform where you can share experiences or challenges with people in similar situations. When your mind feels balanced and refreshed, you’ll be in a better place to tackle that employment search successfully.
7. Start a Side Project
Use this time to work on a side project that aligns with your interests or professional goals. It could be a personal blog, a podcast, or any creative endeavor. If you’ve ever considered starting your own business or pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, this could be an ideal time to research, plan, and take the first steps toward realizing your entrepreneurial goals.
8. Read books
You can’t go wrong reading books. They help you expand your knowledge and broaden your horizon. Consider books about personal growth, leadership, entrepreneurship, your industry—or simply your areas of interest. Seek recommendations from trusted sources or explore bestseller lists to find relevant titles.
9. Travel and explore
If feasible, take a break and travel to new places. Exploring different cultures and environments can broaden your perspective, provide inspiration, and offer a refreshing break before starting your next job.
10. Evaluate Your Finances
Since there might be an irregular cash flow, spend some time assessing your financial situation and creating a budget to manage your expenses during this period. Leverage any opportunity to discuss savings, investments, or any other financial goals. This prevents you from getting stranded and could also be an eye-opener on how you can improve your finances.
ELEVATE YOUR JOB SEARCH PROCESS WITH THE HELP OF PROFESSIONAL STAFFING
Looking for a job can be exhausting, especially when you don’t receive an offer after a few tries. But what if you could have someone handle that process while you relax and focus on the things you love?
This is where ACS Professional Staffing comes in. Our team of skilled recruiters is dedicated to connecting candidates with employers and job opportunities that align with their preferences. We ensure that you’ll be connected to a job you’ll love, receive fair treatment, and work with a company that prioritizes your well-being.
Contact us today to unlock your full potential.
1. Flynn Jack, “25+ Important Networking Statistics : The Power Of Connections in the Workplace.” Zippia, 23 February 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/networking-statistics/