One of the greatest upsides of unemployment is all the free time you have on your hands. And while it’s tempting to use this opportunity to catch up on sitcoms and indulge in the late afternoon nap, it’s a better use of your time to learn some new skills that will make you a stronger candidate in the job market and a more valuable employee. So here’s a list of a few skills to focus on while you still have room for self-improvement in your schedule:
Learn How to Use Different Operating Systems
Sure, it seems like things generally remain the same from one computer to the next. But once you’re thrown onto a different operating system than the one you’re used to, you’ll find lots of minute differences that can really trip you up along the way. So in order to build your resume – and for the sake of the future IT guy’s sanity – take some time to familiarize yourself with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Stay In the Know
It’s easy to fall behind on current events when you’re busy working a full day. So savor the time you have off and familiarize yourself with the world around you. It’s wise to stay current on world events because you never know when they will come up in discussion. Knowledge of current events provides you with great talking points and may aid in making important decisions at work. More than this, it’s important for the unemployed individual to stay current on industry news. This is the stuff that will most definitely come up in interviews, so you really don’t want to miss the boat here while you’re sidelined for a few months.
Work on Body Language
Learning how to maintain eye contact, provide a solid handshake, and abstain from fidgeting during a conversation will help you just as much in your everyday life as it will in your job search. Work on your body language now and it will become second nature to you over time, and hence, one less thing you have to focus on when you walk into an interview.
Get Up on Time
Another joy of unemployment is the pleasure of sleeping in – but this is a treat that you should indulge in sparingly, as oversleeping can be a slippery slope. So instead, train yourself to get up early in the morning. Once you’ve mastered this, try scaling back on the number of times you hit the snooze button. When you stop dreading the whole morning wake-up routine, you’ll start your day off on a much better foot and will be more productive overall.
Grow Existing Relationships
It’s one thing to network like crazy while you’re searching for a job or already have one. It’s another to spend time building those relationships. And since you have the time, make it a point to get to know people from both personal and business walks of life. Not only will you have an array of valuable relationships in the long run, you’re also bound to hone your people skills and become much better at networking.
When you don’t have a place to be Monday through Friday, it’s enticing to while away the days playing Xbox or basking in the sun. And while here at Doostang we are by no means encouraging you to turn in your controller and lawn chair, we do suggest that you devote some time to sharpening the skills that you can carry with you wherever you may go.
Until next time,
The Doostang Team