In our last post, we discussed the greatest benefit to staying active in the field – the ability to explain what you have been doing during your absence from work. The interview question “Why have you been out of work for so long” is a job interview killer, because companies do not like to hire people that they believe may have some downside that other companies discovered, leading to their long term unemployment.
Additional benefits of staying active in your field include:
- Chance of finding employment with a company you volunteer for or consult with.
- Chance of earning extra experience in the field you can place on a resume.
- Chance of starting a business or freelancing successfully.
In addition, the more time you spend working for various companies, whether as a volunteer, freelancer, or consultant, the more you network, and the more you network, the better chances you have of getting hired. More than 50% of all employment comes through networking. It is an avenue that is too beneficial to ignore.
It is for that reason that it is not only important to stay active in your field. It is also important to stay active in general. The more time you spend out and meeting new people, the more you network, even if that means spending time doing activities that are completely unrelated to work.
Unrelated to Work Networking
It does not matter how you network. What matters is that you take the time to meet new people. Meeting new people IS networking. When you accidentally drop your wallet, and someone picks it up, and you have an interesting conversation and decide that perhaps the two of you will go on a hike together – you have just networked. When you go up to someone drunk in a bar, vomit on their shirt, and that person sits with you while you sober up, helps you get home, and you have plans to buy them dinner next week to thank them for their time – you have just networked. Although the person whose shirt you vomited on is unlikely to support hiring you, you still have increased your network, and increasing your network has some benefits.
That is why when you find yourself unemployed, spend some time going out and meeting new people. Sign up for meet-up events, attend group art galleries – whatever you can do to meet new people. The more people you meet, the greater your network, and the better opportunity you have to find employment.
Staying Active While Unemployed
These are the reasons that you should never spend your unemployment alone on the couch in your underwear, watching cartoons and job searching on craigslist. Staying active in the world by working in your field or meeting new people has a lot of benefits, and you are far more likely to find employment if you continue to be active in the community, both professionally and personally.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Never spend your unemployment alone.