By Ryan Velez
The time between jobs can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are the type of person who loves to work. Not only is the job hunt a tiring and frustrating exercise, but the lack of a formal structure means that you may not be able to get the most out of your day. A recent article from The Network Journal brings together industry experts for things you can do to be productive and prepared during the time before your next job.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do, according to career coach Elene Cafasso of Enerpace Executive, is be prepared for rejection–not the easiest thing for us to do as people. “Job search is a very vulnerable and very personal process. A non-answer is as painful as a rejection. It’s unfortunate, but it’s normal. It’s the rule, not the exception. So how do you get over it? By building it into your process.” By this, she means anticipating the voice mail or non-reply the first time you send it. Be ready to follow up, often through a variety of avenues, until you get that final confirmation that the position is no longer on the table. It’s not about being a pest, it’s about being thorough.
Sometimes, though, it pays to go back to the core of who you are and what you want before you get the job search underway. Leadership coach Jennifer Davis of Jennifer Davis Coaching recommends creating a vision for one’s self. “We are all used to doing this for our companies, but what about for ourselves? What is your Life Purpose? What do you have to offer the world that is unique and compelling? What do you want to offer the world?” she asks. “Getting clarity around what you were basically put here on Earth to do (according to none other than…you) will not only help guide you to the perfect next position but will more importantly, give you clarity and connectedness to ‘what you’re all about.'”
Depending on your timeline, it may be a worthy investment to look to professional development. Kendra Davies of Stellar Life Coaching explains that “Continuing to learn in between jobs is important for all of us, it can keep us sane when we stir crazy, but it can be particularly helpful to fill gaps. It doesn’t necessarily have to be completing a degree. You could take Quickbooks classes at the library, a PMP certification online, or take an entirely new class in Adobe Photoshop at a local trade/tech school. All of these options are inexpensive if not free, and demonstrate your desire to learn, expand your skill set, and make yourself more useful for a company.” Volunteer work, free activities, and service trips can all fall under this umbrella as well.