Losing a job, especially at a time like this -when Coronavirus is ravaging the economy sucks. Currently, everything is uncertain, and stability is not guaranteed. The pandemic has continued to put at risk the health, jobs and income of millions of people globally for the last year. According to the ILO Monitor,114 million people lost their jobs in 2020. It has not been an easy period psychologically and even physically for those affected, as job searches can take several months.
Losing your job, though, does not necessarily mean your career has gone on a break. A series of work done, roles attained, responsibilities achieved, and ultimately the learning that has happened over time is what defines your career journey. As you are taking time to figure out the next move, the unemployment period presents an opportunity to take stock of your career journey and plot the next move. Below are some of the ways you can work on career growth during the unemployment period;
Explore freelance or part-time work options
Gig jobs will soon outnumber the traditional nine to five, changing the nature of employment as we previously knew it. During the unemployment period, freelancing is a good option to consider depending on your skillset. The reality is, Gig job might not be your dream job, but it is an opportunity for you to generate income as you continue to put your skillset to work. Freelancing also gives you the flexibility needed to continue job searching in your preferred industry or roles. In Kenya, companies such as Cloud factory, Kuhustle, Upwork, and Guru have perfected the art of connecting freelancers with businesses worldwide.
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2. Take part in cost-effective training programs.
Participating in training and learning opportunities is highly recommended during the unemployment period. The availability of time makes it perfect to engage in professional development activities. Take time to upskill and reskill as the new skills will give you a competitive advantage in future recruitment processes. Be sure to check out free or cost-effective training as financial resources are limited. For online courses, institutions such as Alison, Oxford Home Study College, University of the People and Google, among many others, are known globally for equipping individuals with the skills required for today’s competitive job market at little or no cost.
3. Explore Entrepreneurship
Have you considered that entrepreneurship might just be the solution to your unemployment state? The unemployment period provides many with a sense of openness, whereby they are willing to explore new horizons and take up new risks and challenges. The beauty of exploring the entrepreneurship option is that it provides immense career growth opportunities from the onset. As an entrepreneur, one gets to juggle different roles improving on their leadership and other skillsets. It also makes one financially independent. Best of all, as an entrepreneur, one gets to impact society by employing others, making entrepreneurship the most significant weapon to counteract unemployment.
The future depends on what you do today. — Mahatma Gandhi
4. Engage in networking activities
Networking is a nightmare after a job loss due to the dreaded ‘what do you do’ question. It leaves many feeling vulnerable and hostile towards the whole networking process. Networking is critical for job search success. An estimated 50% of job vacancies are not advertised, and the only way to get wind of such opportunities is through networking or referrals. Networking presents a chance to showcase your brand to the right people, learn from others, and boost one’s confidence. Also, networking can help you get valuable referrals and kickstart the journey of exploring new career directions.
Let volunteering be a regular activity during the unemployment period. Whether in your field of specialization or a different area, Volunteering allows you to put something active on your CV. It shows you are a self-motivated person who takes the initiative and is in charge of your career journey. Volunteering is a networking avenue and can be personally rewarding, especially when the cause is dear and close to you.
As difficult as the period seem to be, Don’t let your career growth efforts slide over. Keep learning, keep being positive and keep growing.
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