Out of a job? Collecting unemployment benefits? Waiting for an e-mail from the company recruiter? This is what many of us are doing as we wait for the right job that matches our experience to cross our desk! Many are looking for the same job they did before they were laid off, yet this is the time to look at other careers.
It’s time to evaluate if what your were doing is something that you still want to do. You need to use this time during unemployment to ask yourself how you want to be spending your days working and whether you still like what you are doing or if it’s time for a career change.
Even if you still like what you are doing for a vocation; you should continue to build your skills in other areas that use your talents. So, if you love to decorate your home, consider working for a local interior designer as a volunteer. Of, if you have a passion for the outdoors, take a course on-line that gives you certification for being a tour guide.
Being unemployed does not have to be all about finding a new job. It should be a time of soul searching and building your resume with skills that may lead you to a new career. We live in a world economy that is moving at warp speed. The skills we had in the past become more dated, quicker, than they have in the past.
So, “building a bridge” to a new career is necessary to compete in the job market and quite frankly, in life. That bridge will get you where you need to be to sustain long-term employment. Bridges are not built overnight. It takes self-awareness, focus and tenacity to develop your bridge and “one size fits all” is never the norm.
Here are (5) tips to help you start building your bridge:
Determine what your best skills are
This is the first step to any career change. You need to determine what you do best and what your innate talents are. Follow your innate talent and you will begin to see a path for your career.
Take classes and courses that support your new career.
Once you determine what you want and can do, you need to get up to speed on what is going on in the industry and to determine what education, courses or certifications you will need to compete.
Reach out on your social media to people in the industry
LinkedIn is a great resource to find groups and people at companies in the industry you want to work in. Reach out and connect. Start with dialog and try to get a face to face over coffee.
Make the Process Fun
Everyone loves someone who is fun, so “lighten up”! You need to put your financial troubles in a “box” and tap into the child in you. People will relate to you better. No one wants to be around someone that appears desperate.
Consider keeping a daily log of what you do, who you speak or correspond with and what you have accomplished. Most people have difficulty managing their time, so you need to make yourself accountable and use your time wisely.
The process of building a bridge to a new career takes time. There are rarely short-cuts. Even if you still enjoy your job and industry, you will need to keep building your skills in diverse areas, so if one industry evaporates, you’ll be prepared to do something else.