How to sharpen your skills during the unemployment period


Most people would yearn to be employed and earn an income. However, this is not always the case. There are instances when you can be unemployed for a few months or even years. This can be a very difficult period for you especially now that you will not be earning an income. However, you can turn around this period and sharpen your skills. This period should not be a slow time for your career development. If you spend this period wisely, it can be hugely beneficial for your career. Here, you can readily examine your skillset, your potential job opportunities, and even your career goals. The following are tips that can help you sharpen your skills during the unemployment period:

  1. Consider taking up a volunteer position

This is a very good opportunity for you to get rid of boredom that comes with being unemployed. Here, you can choose to work for a non-profit organization for free and showcase your skills. The good news is that you are likely to rub shoulders with professionals as you undertake your normal duties. You should not be afraid to ask for guidance during this period. As long as you are interested in offering voluntary services, there will be a lot to learn. You might be lucky to get refers who can support your job application in the long run. The more you take advantage of voluntary services, the higher your chances of getting more skills in your field.

  1. Attend several networking events

Chances are that you might not have time to attend any networking events when you were employed in the past. However, now that you are unemployed, you should not hesitate to attend these events once in a while. You are likely to find potential employers who might eventually hire you to work for them. You should carry your business cards and work samples so that employers can remember you. There is always a lot to learn once you attend these events. You will learn how to build networks with those who are within your level and those who are senior to you careerwise.

  1. Go for job fairs

Some people are afraid to talk to different mangers and business owners out there. This is not right. First, you will note that knowing how to speak with hiring managers and recruiters is a skill on its own. The good news is that job fairs usually provide you with an opportunity to interact with different hiring managers out there. Here, you will be able to present yourself before your potential managers and showcase your skills. This is a good way of creating a network and this will enable you to get a job in the long run.

  1. Write some blogs

You can use your free time by blogging about that which you are passionate about. This can be cooking, fashion, technology and so much more. By writing blogs, there will be a lot to learn. You will be able to develop a personal brand and this can be a perfect addition not only to your application package but also to personal development. The more blogs you write, the more skills you acquire and this will make you have a competitive advantage over other job applicants. Writing blogs can help you have some online presence which makes you more marketable out there.

Besides writing blogs, you can also read different materials that are relevant to your industry. This makes you more knowledgeable in your niche. Here, you can choose to read magazines, journals, and eBooks related to your passion or industry.

  1. Offer coaching services

This is another great way of spending time when you are not working. You can consider offering coaching services in your industry and earn an income. The internet is a good source of information for you. You can utilize this information and mentor those who want to join your industry. This is a remaining cognitively engaged. You can also create YouTube videos and offer coach services online. This can still help you sharpen your skills when you are unemployed.

  1. Offer freelance services

The demand for freelance services is on the rise as it comes with huge benefits for the company such as; cost-effectiveness, quality work, diversity just to mention a few. You can utilize your unemployment period to offer freelance services in your area of expertise from the comfort of your home. The freelance working arrangement also benefits the freelancer as you do not need to rent an office to offer this services,  You get to choose your timings as long as deliverables are on time and quality work is submitted and you also get to reduce your operational cost such as transport. This goes a long way in sharpening your skills and can make you an industry leader in the future.

  1. Remember to exercise

When was the last time that you exercised? Chances are that you hardly have adequate time for this undertaking while employed. During this period you can engage in physical and mental exercises. Learn a new dance move, do yoga, ride a bike, learn a new skill, fill in puzzles. You should maintain a fitness routine during this period so that you can improve your mood and remain positive. Also, this helps you to have better sleep at night and remain happy. You can choose to do these exercises with the ones you love and bond more with them.

  1. Consider temp roles

You will note that temp roles are a great way to learn about companies in a certain area. This usually helps to reduce employment gaps and provides you with valuable new skill development. Also, these positions help you to get out of your house and adhere to a regular schedule.

  1. Treat your unemployment like a full-time job

You might be tempted to lax into a lull during the period that you are not employed. This can harm you. The biggest risk here is that it takes you out of your routine. Therefore, you should maintain your work routine as much as possible while unemployed. Here, you should continue waking up early and spend all day working on your personal projects or finding a job. By keeping a schedule you will be able to curb depression or anxiety that is associated with unexpected job loss. Also, this helps you to transition to your next position more readily.

Although the loss of employment can be a gut-wrenching feeling, By considering the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to stay sharp but also be ready for the next professional opportunity. Consider these tips today and you will not be frustrated.