Equipping Yourself for a Short Unemployment Phase
If you’re facing unemployment, especially unexpected unemployment, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate among employable adults is 6.3%.
The effects can be devastating. From family issues to additional stressors to factors as severe as addiction and serious depression, the consequences of a sudden layoff or change in course can be life-altering.
However, if unexpected circumstances have brought your career track to a screeching halt, you can take control. There are ways to move forward in a positive manner while preparing for a new and better future. A future that’s more than just a job, a future based around a solid career. Check out a few steps to get started today.
Evaluate Your Dreams
Sometimes a layoff or sudden discharge can seem unexpected, but maybe it’s an opportunity to grow.
Think about your strengths as an employee. If you’re unsure, check out an online quiz or other resource that will ask questions that cut to the core of who you are and what you have to offer. Consider the results and compare them with the future that you envision. Maybe your previous career path wasn’t right for you, maybe there’s something better waiting around the bend. Consider your goals seriously before taking any action.
This unemployment period could provide you with the opportunity to go back to college and change careers.
Put Together an Employment Package
After you know where you’d like to end up, start putting together a new career package. By working with a professional resume writer or searching for templates online, you can start to find a way to represent the strengths you’ve discovered. Be sure that the content on your resume is actionable.
Look at it like a billboard representation of what you have to offer. Stick to traditional formats and layouts, but consider finding a way to add a little more personality. Try to narrow your experience down to two pages for the best results and create a cover letter that can be customized for each posting. Consider your job search your temporary career and take it seriously.
Once you’ve put out a few applications, it can be easy to sit back and wait, but that can actually do more harm than good.
Allow a week for processing, then start following through. Reach out to employers you’ve sent applications to and check in with them. Remind them of your interest and ask what the next step in the process is. Putting a voice to a name can help as employers consider who to bring in for interviews.
To keep the process organized, create a spreadsheet that outlines where applications were sent. Your spreadsheet should also include the date, dates of follow-ups and notes from those conversations. When you’re given the opportunity to interview, send customized thank-you letters to follow up. Anything that provides a reminder of your interest is positive aspect of your job search.
When an interview is on the horizon, you’re putting together a cover letter, you have a phone meeting with a potential employer or you’re going to follow through on an application, a little preparation can go a long way.
Take the time to research any company you’re interested in. Find out everything you can – key employees, competitors, information on the industry and more. From there, find a way to incorporate that information into your applications and throughout the interview.
Practice what you will say, but be sure it doesn’t just sound like you’ve memorized a script. Tape yourself and watch for anything that may come across incorrectly during the process. The more prepared you are before each step, the more likely you are to be a success.
Unemployment doesn’t need to be a hopeless, drawn out circumstance. By taking action and taking the process seriously from the start, you can take proactive steps to eliminate frustration during the process and keep the jump from wrong job to bright future simple and short.