ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Survive Unemployment (And Thrive)

Updated on November 9, 2015

What to do When You're Unemployed

So you’ve found yourself in the post-college or between-job gap. Those 100 applications a day are turning out to be dead-ends and you’re getting frustrated. So what do you do? You take the opportunity to grow.

The job market in the US sucks. And being jobless feels horrible. To many it’s wasted time, applying for jobs endlessly, and struggling to make ends meet. But it doesn’t have to be wasted. You can use this time to grow as an individual and look more appealing on job applications.

5 Things to do When You're Unemployed

Moving beyond the application, what you can do while unemployed that will make you more employable.
Moving beyond the application, what you can do while unemployed that will make you more employable. | Source

1. Develop Professional Skills

Of all the job search tips in the world the #1 most important tip is this: no matter what, you need to actually have the skills. That means you need to take every opportunity to develop those skills.

The internet is a truly wonderful thing for a plethora of reasons. For one thing, it offers you seemingly unlimited opportunities to learn. And many of them are free.

Your free time could be wasted bemoaning your ill fortune, or you can use it productively to develop the skills that can make you a better job candidate. Figure out what your passions are and take the time to develop your skills. A lot of online programs offer certifications that you can list on your resume to further stand out.

Think about it this way. Does it sound better to say “I spent the last six months looking for a job (and you’re the only ones willing to interview me)” or “I took these six months to find my passion and further develop my skills”.

Some ideas:

  • Learn programming and teach yourself to code
  • Take a free design class, do a project with your skills, list it on your resume and LinkedIn
  • Learn a new methodology
  • Get Hubspot, Google Analytics, or Google Adwords certified
  • Download a free trial of a video editing software and try to master it in a week
  • Attend free college classes online
  • Subscribe to blogs related to your topic of interest
  • Teach yourself how to create a website
  • Master Excel

Showcase Your Skills

If you’re going into web design – design a sample website

If you’re going into writing – create a personal blog

If you’re going into design – create design samples

If you’re going into coding – code!

If you’re going into art or photography – create an online gallery

How to build a personal portfolio website

2. Build a Portfolio or develop a blog

The reason you can’t find a job is probably two-fold: 1) you don’t have the necessary experience; 2) you don’t stand out.

Everyone applies to jobs with a resume and (hopefully) a cover letter. But you can do one better. Providing samples of your work and capabilities will set you apart and put you ahead of the pack. Instead of just having a nice sheet of paper that says that you’re good at something you need to put together something that showcases your abilities.

Experience doesn't only come from the workforce. You can gain, and show, experience by designing, drawing, budgeting, or writing for yourself. As long as you can show evidence of your work to potential employers you've got experience.

There are a lot of ways to show off your skills to employers beyond listing them on a resume. Having work samples sets you apart. It makes you shine. Plus – it’s a good, productive way to spend your time.

Portfolio

You can also take existing work samples (from past jobs or college courses) and put them together into a beautiful portfolio. Creating a website is not only a demonstration of skill, but it also allows you to create a space all your own. You can use it to showcase your work and personality. Link it up with your LinkedIn and social media sites and share it in your resume’s (and cover letter’s) header. Make it so every time an employer Googles you they find this website, instead of your junior high Myspace profile.

A personal portfolio isn’t just about showcasing hard skills. It’s also about showing employers who you are. Showcase personal accomplishments, what you’re proud of, and your passions. Display your education and travel. Tell your story. By creating this website you’re giving yourself the unique opportunity to show off.

You can create a website or professional blog using Wordpress, Blogspot, or Wix. I personally used Wix. I have a horrible domain name (myemail.wix.com/portfolio) but I didn’t have to pay for it. If you’re passionate about creating an awesome website (or having an excellent domain name) you can usually pay a small monthly fee and get more freedom.

3. Volunteer

Trying to figure out what to do when you're jobless? How about you work for free?

Finding a job is hard, finding a volunteer opportunity is easy. Non-profits everywhere need help. So take some of that free time and volunteer in your community. You’d be surprised how much it can help you develop your skills and network.

There are two main routes you can go with volunteer work.

1. Take up a random volunteer position. Work at a soup kitchen, help save the dogs, work with your favorite charity. This work may not directly correlate with the career you’re pursuing, but taking these positions shows passion. It helps develop you as a person. And they’re great opportunities to network. People love to network while doing good in the world.

Benefits:

  • Networking opportunities
  • List volunteer experience on resume and LinkedIn
  • Shows passion and initiative
  • Use stories and experiences from volunteering in interviews
  • Everyone loves to see involvement in the community

2. Volunteer in a career-related position. Nonprofits everywhere are looking for help – so there’s a good chance your skills are needed somewhere. While you won’t get paid in a volunteer position, you will gain experience. Most of these positions are only part time – 20 hours a week or less – and can be paired with another job so you can make ends meet and gain experience in your field. This may not be the easiest path, but it’s a good way to use your time. Often volunteer jobs offer excellent networking with other passionate professionals.

Source

4. Freelance

If you don’t have any experience freelance work can be hard to find. But if you have an education or are self-taught but have a portfolio, you can get started finding freelance jobs. First, check with the people in your network, professors or ex-coworkers, and see if they’re working on anything. If you can’t find freelance work from your personally network, try one of the many freelance websites.

These jobs won’t make you rich, chances are you’ll be making small amounts of money when you start out. But with this work comes experience that can help you land a spot in your dream career. And hey, some people make a career out of doing freelance work. But that’s a topic for an entirely different blog post.

5. Get a Job

I know, that sounds like ridiculous advice. But so many post-grads looking for professional jobs refuse to work while they’re job searching. While the job search can be a full time job – it is important to keep in mind that you still need to make ends meet. If that means you have to work at Starbucks or take a part-time position at a bookstore, take the job. Having work experience, any experience, is better than having blank spots on your resume. Potential employers are not going to judge you and your rent will actually get paid.

It’s hard to work, improve yourself, and look for a career at the same time. But if it’s important to you, you can do it.

Source

Do you work in between career jobs?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)