Losing employment is difficult no matter if working hourly, salary, or freelance. However, freelancer workers are more familiar with income ebbs and flows.
After two years of contract work, I’ve learned how to survive between jobs. Survival means more than paying the bills without an income. It also includes taking advantage of the time to mentally recover and improve your prospects.
Things Successful People Do Between Jobs
Immediately looking for the next job is a common practice, however, it’s not always the best idea.
You may be unprepared for searching for new employment if your job loss comes out of the blue, such as from layoffs and downsizing. Likewise, if your former position is obsolete due to technology, then you will need to take time to learn new job skills.
Additionally, post-employment is a convenient time to get your personal life in order, from crossing-off items on an outstanding to-do list to taking a much-needed family vacation. Recharge and get ready for the next steps before starting the journey.
The first things to do are simple; take a breath and assess your situation. Looking at your finances, employability, and personal life will help you create goals and plans to reach them.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What are my short- and long-term personal and professional goals?
- How prepared am I for applying for a new job?
- What training or efforts will make me a more desirable candidate?
- How long can my savings hold me over?
- What personal projects can I do?
Are you satisfied with your personal and professional life? Determine if your path needs some tweaking; maybe you want to switch industries, work for yourself, or workout more…
Establish a plan for both your career and self that details what you would like to accomplish within the year. Then, look at where you see yourself in the next five and 10 years and create an outline of how to get there.
Job Search Prepping
Revise your resume, research the job market, and check out positions and companies that interested you. There is a lot of competition for great positions, so you will want to put your best foot forward.
Taking LinkedIn Learning courses is one way to stay up-to-date on the best practices as well as strengthen your resume.
The sudden loss of income is stressful. Look at your savings, unemployment insurance, and/or severance compensation as well as your bills and expenses to create a budget. Minimize any unnecessary expenses, such as streaming services and eating at restaurants.
Use this time to complete home projects, run errands, and schedule appointments. This will make the first few weeks to months less busy and stressful once you get a new job.
Relax, Reset & Re-engage
Catch up with family and friends during this period. Take a vacation, even a budget-friendly staycation, to unwind. Unplug from technology and enjoy a day for yourself.
Then, stick to a schedule that is comparable to a workday. Sleeping in during what would be your commuting time is enjoyable, but don’t alter your sleep schedule too much.
Network using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out former coworkers and acquaintances in your industry and develop relationships.
Best Ways to Keep Busy
After spending eight hours at work and another one to two commuting, you may find yourself with an overwhelming amount of time on your hands. Some productive ways to use your newfound freedom include:
- Volunteering, which is great for your resume and as a means to network.
- Taking a class to improve your professional skills.
- Teaching a class if you are an expert in your field, as educational gigs impress employers.
- Consulting or coaching others in your industry.
- Interning at a company where you want to work to get your foot in the door.
- Joining organizations for job-seekers or for in involvement your community.
- Starting a business or working freelance.
- Enjoying your hobbies and having fun!