By Sheri G.
Periods of unemployment are stressful. Job searching can be difficult and days can be long with employment prospects weighing on your mind. While it may be next to impossible to make a period of unemployment totally stress free, there are a number of things that you can do to ease the stress while moving forward in your job search. Here are a few ideas to help you make the best of a temporary situation:
Time for Re-evaluation
Life gets busy. School, work, and family responsibilities all compete for our attention and our time. Many of us hurry through our days checking tasks off our to-do lists. But when was the last time that you thought about yourself and your career path (I mean REALLY thought about it)?
A period of unemployment can present the opportunity to take a step back and revaluate who you are, what skills you have, what goals you would like to set and to really think about what you would like to do with your future. Many people who have established career paths in a specific industry or a specific line of work feel they have to continue on that path.
A period of unemployment is a great time to take a step back and think about other options, opportunities, and interests. Who you are today may not be the person you were when you entered the workforce five, ten, or twenty years ago. Interests change, and so do job goals. Brainstorm, get creative and think outside of your comfort zone. Be open to exploring new paths and to letting yourself entertain new ideas and interests; it just may be the key to a new and exciting career!
Do you need to update your training? A period of employment can be a good time to update training and develop new skills. This new training can be used to update your resume, open new doors, and lead you along new career paths.
There are many different courses that can be accessed through local colleges and universities. If funds are tight, there are also low-cost or no-cost opportunities that are available.
Consider completing Smart Serve Certification, W.H.M.I.S., or Safe Food Handling Certification, find more information on these courses on our Certificates and Training page.
Do your computer skills need updating? If so, consider free online training, such as GCF Learn Free Online Computer training.
Using time between jobs to address training needs and interests can be a good part of your job search, allowing you to feel that you are taking appropriate steps in moving forward, building new skills, and opening new doors.
Looking for something to do? Volunteering in the community during a period of unemployment can be a really valuable experience to job seekers. Not only is it a great way to help out in the community, but it also serves as a way to build new skills, take your mind off of your job search, and build new relationships (great for networking and references).
Approach volunteering in a strategic way. Think about what skills or experience you are looking for, and then look at volunteering opportunities that can assist you in meeting those goals. Volunteering doesn’t have to take up a lot of time in your week, it can be a morning or afternoon, once a week, or more if you are really enjoying it.
Community volunteer work is a win-win — great for the community group that receives the much-needed assistance and great for a job seeker looking to build new skills and professional relationships.
If you are a job seeker looking for ideas about how to best navigate a period of employment, drop into a CSE resource centre to see how we can help you!