On average, Americans will change jobs 12 times in their working life. People don’t necessarily go from one job straight into another, having perhaps been made redundant, gone back into education or using the opportunity to start their own business. Having time between jobs can be a daunting situation to find yourself in, particularly if it wasn’t planned. However, depending on how you choose to spend this time, you can also reap the benefits in the long term.
Make a passive income
Not having a steady job doesn’t mean you can’t earn money. Whatever your employment status, you can pursue options for making a passive income. Examples include things like blogging, property rental and making a profit from buying and selling different currencies. In the case of blogging, for instance, you can earn money through reviewing brands and/or having brand advertisements on your website. Vlogging (that is, having your own channel on an online video platform such as YouTube) also enables you to earn through advertising in between vlog posts. Whichever avenue you go down, be sure to do your homework on how to make your chosen passive income effectively, and the amount of time and money needed to make it work; different sources of passive income come with their own challenges.
Decide on what you’d like to do next
It might sound simple, but use this time to really have a think about what you’d like to do next. Rather than applying for every job opening you see, sit down and make a list of what you have enjoyed in your roles to date, as well as things you like outside of work. This might help give you clarity on the types of jobs to keep an eye out for, particularly if you decide to approach job agencies for work.
Build on your skill set
Once you have identified the types of roles that appeal to you, try to assess areas in which you might need to develop, especially if you are looking to head down a new career path. It can be helpful to speak to a professional for advice, or to anyone you know who works in the industry. Use your network of friends and ex-colleagues to find some voluntary work in the field you’re interested in, in order to boost your experience. Listing relevant unpaid work also shows potential employers certain leadership skills and initiative.
Revisit your resume
It’s always a good idea to keep on top of your resume, but particularly when you’re in-between jobs. Use the time to adapt your resume to suit any openings you wish to apply for, making sure any relevant experience (paid or unpaid) and achievements are mentioned at the top, where they are easily identified by recruiters. Tailoring your resume to suit each application will improve your chances of getting an interview, rather than using a ‘one size fits all’ approach for job applications.
Make a daily schedule
Boost your morale and productivity by sticking to a daily routine. This doesn’t mean applying for jobs all day. Instead, set your alarm so that you’re up at the same time each morning, like you would if you were going to work, and structure your day. This might mean doing some exercise first thing, followed by job hunting with a series of scheduled breaks. Or it could involve applying for jobs at certain times of the day and doing some voluntary work in the afternoon. However you spend each day, having a schedule will help you use the time most effectively.
Whatever you decide to do next, try not to lose heart. Focus on your achievements so far, and try to believe in yourself. Use this time to look after yourself: make sure you do some exercise and eat well, in order to keep your mental state in good condition.