If you’ve been unemployed for a while, it’s easy to feel like you’re living on the outskirts of the rest of society. You don’t have a set routine, you don’t have a specific place to be every day, and you don’t have that all-important sense of satisfaction that comes from a day of hard work. It is absolutely crucial that you stay sharp so you aren’t too out of practice when you do find a job. And how do you achieve that? By treating your unemployment like a job.
Get into the right mindset
Get up when your alarm goes up, rather than hitting the snooze button and turning over. Shower, get dressed and eat breakfast. Then find a reason to leave the house before 9am, even if it’s just to buy a newspaper and a latte; it will keep you away from the time-suck of Jeremy Kyle, This Morning, and those Loose Women.
Manage a schedule
Find events to put in your diary, and honour them. They don’t have to be expensive; find a regular free networking evening, make a standing date for coffee with your best friend, set yourself the challenge of going for a run or swim at a specific time each week. Another great way to fill your time while between jobs is volunteering; it looks great on your CV and proves that you’re passionate about getting involved in a wide range of challenges.
Keep your finger on the pulse
Stay on top of your reading as far as your industry is concerned. Whether that means picking up the Financial Times or The Economist, checking up on LinkedIn groups, or trawling Twitter for relevant news, it is important that you not let your knowledge stagnate.
Preparation is everything
Update your CV and try to include all of the proactive things you’ve done while looking for work, such as your volunteering, sports, or any classes or courses you’ve been taking. Review your covering letter and LinkedIn profile; is there anything else you can add to make your application memorable? And finally; practice your interview technique. For each job you apply to, think critically about what you can bring to the role, and come up with some questions of your own regarding the position and the company.
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