Dealing with unemployment the right way is critical. This is because job hunting can be challenging no matter what your situation is, but job hunting while you are already unemployed can feel particularly difficult. That’s because your unemployment may well have come about due to situations beyond your control. Maybe you were downsized, or maybe your skills were no longer needed. Not only are you likely concerned about your financial situation but your confidence can take a beating as well. And, you might be unfairly suffering from bias – sometimes recruiters and hiring managers tend to focus on people currently employed, wrongly believing that their skills or experience are better suited. It’s a flawed view, but you have to remember that it is one that some people hold, so it’s vital to overcome that barrier when you do apply for jobs and go on interviews.
But whether you’ve been unemployed for a short time or a long time, the skills you need to job hunt are the same.
Dealing with Unemployment by Having the Right Attitude
The first thing to keep in mind is the importance of being positive. The right job is out there, even if it seems as though it is taking longer than you’d hope for. But focusing on the fact that you will find it – eventually — will help you keep your spirits up. Just keep telling yourself that you are only looking for ONE job. Even if it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, something about knowing you are just looking for one job can help you feel more positive.
Dealing with Unemployment by Staying Sharp
There are three things you should do on a regular basis to help keep your skills sharp and amplify your chances of getting a job if you are job hunting while unemployed:
Network. Whether it’s going out and meeting someone for coffee or attending a Chamber of Commerce or industry event, or staying in and networking online via LinkedIn or social media, the best way to find a job is to keep your name out there and explore all avenues available to you. Sometimes networking can feel like a chore – and an expensive one at that – but it’s been proven again and again to be the best way to land a job. You never know who might know that a certain company is hiring, and having someone internally pass on your name to the hiring manager is always a better route than blindly sending in a resume. Every time you meet someone interesting, make sure to end the conversation by asking if there’s someone else they think you should talk to, and taking the time to follow up. Maintaining a constant flow of networking activities is a key part of any job hunt, and can be even more important when you are unemployed and therefore not naturally in situations where you would meet professionals in your industry.
Learn something new. Dealing with unemployment includes battling feelings of stagnation. The important thing is to make sure that you are always doing something positive that will help you in your job hunt, and brushing up on a skill that is important to your success can not only give you a sense of satisfaction, but add something else to your resume that ultimately makes you a stronger candidate. You might choose to take a class, either online or at a community college, where you are learning a new computer skill, or seeking out volunteer opportunities that will allow you to enhance skills you already have; for example, helping a non-profit with its fundraising initiative if you are a writer; or learning more about their accounting system if you are in accounting. This can have the extra boost of supplying you with valuable networking opportunities as well.
Conduct job hunting tasks. It can be easy to start feeling burned out and want to take a break from job hunting when you’ve been at it for weeks or months at a time, but it is vital to make sure that you stay motivated. And that doesn’t just mean applying to jobs that you see online, but making sure that you are proactively searching for the right job. Spend a designated amount of time every day, without fail, conducting the activities that will get you closer to the job you want, whether that’s researching companies that interest you, or practicing your interview techniques or continuing to upgrade and customize your resume.
Treating your job search like a job is the best way to ensure that you are doing everything you can to get one step closer to eventual employment. That means that you have to start every week with goals in mind — how many people you’ll contact for networking opportunities, how much time you’ll spend perfecting your resume and researching potential companies, etc. Having goals to work toward ensures that you are taking all the steps needed to get that much closer to your coveted position.
Articles on dealing with unemployment:
- Unemployed: The Spouse’s Vantage Point
- How to Avoid Long-Term Unemployment
- Unemployed and Blaming Self
- Losing a Job Is about Change
- The Catch 22 of Job Hunting: How to Deal with Unemployment as Part of the Job Search Process
- Resume Versus Attitude
- The Trauma of Unemployment
- How to Manage Fear and Uncertainty
- How to Stay Motivated in Your Job Search
- Resolving the Confusion Caused by Unemployment
- How to Find Work-Life Balance While Unemployed
- How to Get Help While Unemployed
- How to Plan Your Day While Unemployed
- Staying Motivated: Feeling Good Is a Relative State of Mind