In our last post, we discussed how important it is to continue to stay active even while you are unemployed. Active means just that – active. It is not a matter of what you are doing (which we will explain momentarily), so much as it is important that you are doing something – anything – instead of staying home and simply searching for jobs online.
Staying Active In Your Field
In general, the best way to stay active is to do so within your field. There are ample opportunities for you to continue to make an impact in your field of work, even if you are not being paid.
For example, several businesses, especially non-profit organizations, can probably use your skills to help their business run. Volunteers are how these businesses succeed. Call up some local non-profit organizations and see if you can volunteer your services for one or two days a week. Tell them they do not even need to pay you, and simply supply them with the help that they need.
You can also look for some low paying work, either as a freelancer or as a consultant. Perhaps you have some expertise in marketing. Comb craigslist and see if there are any businesses that could use your marketing expertise. You can make a little bit of money, and while it may not be enough to survive, it’s still extra money that you earn while improving your experience in your line of work. You can even try starting your own service business and see if anything comes from it.
The Benefits of Staying Active in Your Field
Staying active is not just about possibly finding employment, even though that is always a possibility. For example, you may volunteer for the non-profit and they realize they can use your services full time and offer you a job. That would be nice, but that is not the reason that staying active is so useful.
No, the greatest benefit to staying active in your field is that you can say that you have been active in your field. If you have been out of work for an extended period of time, your interviewer at your job interview is going to ask you why you have been out of work and what you have been doing during that time.
“Uh… I have been looking for work and no one wanted to hire me” is not an acceptable answer. By staying active, you can say something along the lines of:
“I have continued to work in the field as I looked for a job that suited my skills. I volunteered for a local non-profit organization , developing their website and integrating their marketing strategies. I also dabbled in my own side business while I continued my education, by I decided that my time would be better spent working for a company whose goals align well with my own.”
This is a strong answer. This answer can actually increase your chances of getting a job. That is a considerable benefit, and one that is far greater than the weaknesses of trying to explain your time away from work if you have not been engaging in any activities.
In our next post, we will look at some additional benefits of staying active in your field, followed by additional thoughts on staying active in general.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Staying active helps you during a job interview.