How To Stay Employable While Looking For A Job

Elizabeth Witbeck

It used to be the case that if you wanted to earn money, you needed to be employed. A business owner needed to hire you and you would exchange your time and labor for their money. Times have changed and today there are numerous ways that people can earn money and experience. People who are currently job hunting can remain employable and relevant.

Here are ways to get more experience, money and skills while looking for your next job.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to stay employable while you are job searching. Okay, you don’t get a paycheck – but you do get to learn new skills and network with people in your community. This counts as experience, just like any other paid position you have had in the past. Make sure you list volunteer experiences on your resume.

There are lots of organizations looking for volunteers. Think of a cause that you are passionate about – children, healthcare, education – and find non-profits and other organizations that you can volunteer for.

This is a good way to learn more about a particular business and see if that industry is something you may want a career in. That organization may also have job opportunities available that you can apply for.

Since you already know the staff, you stand a better chance at being hired than unknown candidates.

Temp Work

If you are having difficulty finding a full-time, permanent position, you may want to consider temporary work. A temp agency can help find temporary jobs for you. Workers are hired on a short-term basis at a company, with a contract that states exactly how long you will be working there.

Common temp jobs include bookkeeping, administrative work, construction, data entry, call centers, health care, electrical, retail, and warehouse positions. A temp job is a good way to earn a wage and stay relevant in your industry while looking for something more permanent.

Many people end up being hired at the company where they had a temporary position.

Freelance

Today there are more freelance opportunities than ever. You can sit at home in your pajamas and earn money. Any skill you have, you can turn it into a business.
Think outside of the box: there are already plenty of ways you can earn money with your skills and knowledge.

Uber is a very popular company, similar to a taxi service, where you can drive people to their destination. If you have a car, you can take advantage of this freelance opportunity.

People who enjoy writing can be freelance writers, selling their articles to other companies.

You can turn any skill into a freelance business, whether it is computer maintenance, photography, construction, home repair, or any other number of skills. This is a great way to keep your skills in top form until you get a full-time position.

Coursework

If you have ever thought about going back to school, now is a good time. You can attend a local college, such as a community college or vocational school. Find schools that offer classes in the industry you would like a career in.

Many colleges offer flexible schedules, such as part-time classes, online classes, or night classes. You can earn a degree in a year or two. You can earn additional certifications in your field, such as bookkeeping or nursing.

You can also find websites online where you can learn new skills. Whether you have always wanted to learn computer programming, or graphic design, or Spanish, you can study it online. Employers will love the fact that you have a wide range of skills that you can bring to the position.

Network

Studies show that most people find a position through people that they already know. It’s important to build strong relationships with other people. You can form these types of relationships through volunteering, temp work, and freelancing, as outlined above.

Many people will be more eager to hire a person they know, than a person they don’t know. Remind friends and family that you are looking for a job in your industry and ask them to keep an eye out for any job openings.

Also, be sure to remain close with people that you previously worked with. Keep in contact with old employers and customers. These people may want to continue to work with you in the future, and also can provide a good reference.

It’s important to keep your skills relevant, even when you are out of work. Employers want to see that you will be a productive worker. Fortunately there are many ways to earn money, skills and experience on the job. Volunteering, temporary work, and additional coursework are all ways to show an employer that you have the experience and education to succeed in the position. Being unemployed does not mean you are not able to be hired, it just means you need to get creative.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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