5 Things To Do if You're Unemployed

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Monday, June 13, 2022
It's no secret that finding a new job can take months – even professionals may have gaps on their resumes from stretches of unemployment between jobs. Unemployment is a reality for many people at some point in their careers – especially since the pandemic.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, millions of Americans lost their jobs and filed for unemployment. However, being unemployed doesn't have to mean being unproductive.

Here are five ways to take advantage of unemployment while searching for your next job opportunity.

1. Apply for Unemployment Benefits

When you're between jobs, the first thing you should do is seek advice on unemployment benefits. If you're not unemployed, but your hours have been reduced, you may still qualify.

Federal and state programs offer unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are designed to provide financial security while you're unemployed, and typically pay around half of what you were earning at your job.

To qualify for compensation, you will need to present records of your earnings over a specific period – usually 12 months – while you were still employed. If your application is rejected, speak to a qualified employment lawyer to fight for your benefits.

2. Make a Schedule

While there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of your free time while unemployed, you should not see this time as a vacation. Instead, you should focus on being productive and preparing for your next job opportunity.

Suppose your standard daily routine is to sleep late and binge TV while you're unemployed. In that case, you may become deflated, unmotivated, and depressed. Instead of spending your time idly, try to add structure to your routine. Commit to spending at least three hours on job-hunting daily, and stick to your schedule.

3. Consider Temporary Work or Freelancing

You can make the undesirable gap on your resume disappear by becoming a freelancer or filling up your time with temporary work. This way, you'll be able to earn some money while you're looking for your next full-time job and put your skills to good use.

Choose projects related to your field of work – this way, your career timeline will be more focused on your industry.

There are many online platforms to find freelance or project-based work. There are many benefits to freelancing – including flexibility and the ability to be selective about which projects you want to take on. Spending your time on freelance work is also an excellent opportunity to work on your personal brand.

4. Learn a New Skill

When you're not searching for a job, you should take advantage of your free time by learning something new. You can attend seminars, online classes, or enroll part-time in a community college course.

Whether you've always wanted to learn how to drive, code, or write, learning a new skill while unemployed is a way to bolster your resume and do something you've never had time to do.

5. Volunteer

Any volunteering experience you can put on your resume will look good to hiring managers. Volunteering for a non-profit organization will tell interviewers something personal about you and highlight how you give back to your community.

Using the time you're unemployed to contribute to a worthy cause is also an excellent way to network with others and stay busy. Volunteering in an NGO will also teach you valuable soft skills like leadership, communication, and time management.

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Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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