USAA Tips: How to maximize your unemployment time

Content provided courtesy of USAA

Unemployment is no fun. The longer you don’t have a job, the tougher is seems to get one. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you’re out of work, you can spend your time building upon the foundation you laid when you built your first résumé. You can hone your interview skills. You can do some key activities that can move you closer to getting hired.

Here’s a list of things you can do to maximize your unemployment time:

  • Set regular hours for your job search. Get up and do the things you’d normally do if you were already working: work out, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, and then get to work on the job hunt.

  • Spend some time expanding your network of people. Set a goal of joining 3 professional network groups (i.e. LinkedIn groups related to your dream job) and meet 3 people face-to-face at 3 companies you might wish to work for.

  • Get out of the house! Go connect with people in a professional manner. You want to connect with people and places that have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening job-wise in your community.

  • Attend as many job fairs as possible – even if the list of employers seems like it’s not the right place for you to work. “But I don’t want to work fast food!” Sounds weird, right? Unless you truly know all that goes behind the scenes at a company, you might miss out on an unpublished, unknown opportunity. For example, did you know that most every fast food company has some sort of real estate involvement? How do you think they’re able to identify and purchase the busiest corners on the busiest streets? Do you know what jobs and careers fall into this particular aspect of fast food?

  • Explore the possibility of starting your own business. Do you need to come up with a new concept or a new idea? Or, can you find a specific type of business and provide better customer service than whatever currently exists? Check out various types of businesses. Read the reviews on websites such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, or Yelp to see what positive or negative experiences customers had – then go build something that’s better or competes with what’s already out there.

  • Stay positive. Surround yourself with like-minded people whose goal is to get hired.

If you maximize your unemployment time, you will learn more about opportunities and expand your network. Staying active and busy and on a regular schedule will help you remain ready-to-hire. When your phone finally rings and the call is for an interview, you’ll be ready to go. The words out of your mouth will be positive and you’ll sound like you’re prepared to work now.