Contrary to what you might be feeling right now, it is still possible to be ‘successful’ without a job (success is quotes because success is relative depending on what you want). When you’re unemployed it can feel like the end of the world. Perhaps you were blindsided this year and were let go due to the pandemic; maybe you have no idea what to do at this point; maybe you feel like you are out of options. This pandemic has impacted so many people in the workforce, and the task of finding anything remotely worth your time can seem so far-fetched. Hope you are able to find some value in this article!
Before I started working at Virgin Voyages, I was unemployed for close to 9 months. Now, while it wasn’t during a pandemic, and the choice to leave my job was mine, regardless of how you came to be unemployed- it SUCKS. But, it would suck less if you had a plan. Or at least a way to get through it all. I’ve had many close family and friends go through this time unemployed, so here are some ways in which you can still be successful while going through a period of unemployment (important to remember that like most things, it is temporary).
Networking. Now, this might be an eye-rolling piece of advice you have already been told, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Now, what network you ask? It could be your family, friends who might be able to recommend you for positions, or even past coworkers. A few months into my unemployment, I reached out to a manager from a previous job to touch-base, and actually by the end of our catch-up she offered a part time position of what I used to do. It was something at least! I didn’t end up taking it, but I knew I at least had the option if things didn’t work out.
You might “feel bad” about reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, but there is literally no time like the present. If they care about you, and want to see you succeed, they won’t mind that phone call or email if you are trying to have more options. Worst anyone can say is no, right?
Finding a job should be your full-time job. If you are in need of a job and your main priority is to regain a source of income, or get experience in your designated field, you have to WANT it. I mean like really want. It’s not just going to come to you even if you have an outstanding resume or work background. This is a key piece of advice especially for those just starting the search. You can obviously create your own schedule and designate certain hours during the day to tailoring your resume, posting on LinkedIn, networking (tip #1), and anything else you feel would help your chances. This could be finding free courses or certifications, or something to help build your skills as well as your profile.
Tip: Harvard University offers free courses through their online portal HarvardX. Did I mention that it’s free? I did one course over the summer, and it was self-paced. You can either take it for free, or decide to pay for a certificate at the end for a small fee. In some cases, it might be worth it depending on the class you take. I paid around $80 and have unlimited access to the material even after the course is over. You’re welcome!
Informational Interviews. This fits right in to the tips above. While you are researching for jobs or making connections on LinkedIn, it is the perfect time to follow people that are in your field. Follow companies you want to work for, go through the people that work there and see if any of their job titles are of interest to you. Then, reach out and simply ask if anyone would be willing to give you 30 minutes of their time to just talk about the field they’re in, and how you can get a foot in the door somewhere. Ask them for advice, questions about their job, maybe they can even connect you to opportunities they know about from their own network!
You don’t really have to know a person in order to connect. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to help (like me!) and all you have to do is ask! Note: please be professional and have email etiquette 🙂
Do something for yourself. Aside from the fact that you might be spending so much time trying to find a job, you cannot forget to take care of yourself! No more of this “oh, well when I find a job, THEN I’ll start working out,” or “THEN I’ll start doing xyz..” Noooo. Get out of the mindset right now! This is something that you DO have control over, because you can CHOOSE how you want to spend your time! Think about your priorities.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know about two years ago when I was unemployed, I chose to put my health and fitness as a main priority. At the time, I was kickboxing only twice a week and had only been around the gym for about six months. Five months into my unemployment, there still wasn’t much light at the end of the tunnel, so I said I might as well join FIGHT CAMP with John Wai Martial Arts. Fight Camp is an 8-week intense training program designed to train you physically, mentally and emotionally just as a professional fighter trains. I was this close to not signing up due to the fact that I was trying to be frugal with my savings, but I chose to see it as an investment in my future self. It was 10000% worth it (read about my experience on their blog). When I finally ending up getting a job a few months after Fight Camp, I didn’t let having a full time job stop me from continuing my every day training!
Well, that’s pretty much what I have for you all. It’s not anything that you probably don’t already know, but it works! Hang in there, you GOT THIS. Stay positive.
I would love to be a part of your network if you just need an ear, some more advice, or if there’s anyone you think I might be able to introduce you to, PLEASE reach out to me! We’re in the together, and I am here for you 🙂
Connect with me on LinkedIn or find me on Instagram @generationziz for weekly inspiration and thought discussions.
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