You have recently been let go or transitioned out of the military, but unless you have a job opportunity lined up you may find yourself in a scary position.
Floating between jobs with no leads is one of the last places you want to be. You most likely only have your savings to live off of, and resources will wear thin.
Fortunately, while the U.S. job market seems rocky, there are steps you can take to get back in the game before things get worse. If you need a little focus, we’ve taken a few tips from Hannah Morgan on the top 11 tips for how to handle recent unemployment.
1. Identify Your Core Needs
Finding jobs is as much alchemy as it is science. Wading through hundreds of online postings and fretting over networking opportunities is a stressful, chaotic process. But, three vital pieces of information will keep you focused while you search: what type of jobs you’re interested in, what companies you want to work for, and what your strengths as an employee are.
2. Reach to Your Professional Network
Small or large, now is the time to reach out to professionals in your network and see if they can help. Make sure you complete step one first so you can give them a crystal clear idea of what you need and can provide. Don’t resort to boiler-plate emails: make sure each one is personal and reflects the nature of your relationship with the individual.
3. Volunteer and Make New Connections
If you really want to find a new job, clicking around on websites won’t be enough. One of the best things you can do emotionally and professionally is to volunteer somewhere, preferably with communities of job seekers and recruiters. This not only keeps you busy, it’s experience you can put on your resume. Employers won’t look favorably on your work history if you did absolutely nothing after you left your last job or the military.
4. Leverage Online Resources
Use job-searching websites to look for positions. But, also leverage them to learn more about your chosen field, companies, and grow your network. Some of your contacts may only be reachable to you through the internet, so don’t hesitate to jump on and talk to them. Just be sure that your online presence is up to date and polished.
5. Overhaul Your Resume
It’s always good to keep an updated resume, but this is especially true if you’re under pressure to find a new job. Make sure everything on your resume is completely up to date, grammar and spell checked, and is as polished as possible. Have as many friends in your professional circle look at it as possible and tweak it based on their feedback.
6. Take Care of Yourself
You’re stressed, and overworking yourself won’t help that. Don’t just make time for stress-relieving activities each day, make sure you take care of your body. Eating well, getting a decent amount of sleep, and exercising regularly can do wonders to manage how stressed out you feel.
7. Make a Backup Plan
No industry is infinite, and there just might not be any jobs available to you in your chosen field and profession. It’s critical to plan ahead in this situation. Don’t just wait for the rejection letters to pile up, draw up and start working on your backup plan. Can you work a temporary job until something new opens up? Are you willing to switch industries? Do you need more training or education?
8. Get a Friend to Keep You on Track
If you know someone who’s willing to keep you focused during your job hunt, get them to do it as soon as possible. Your brain can you be your own worst enemy, and when it’s kicking you down and telling you things won’t be okay, your job hunting instructor will be there to pick you up and get you focused.
9. Listen and Learn
This is the perfect time to field advice and wisdom from those around you. It might come in the form of a professional critique or a small edit to your resume. You don’t have to take everything that’s said to you wholesale, but try to understand what’s being said to you and why. Even if you end up disagreeing, you’ll learn something in the process.
10. Keep up the Pace
Now is not the time to slack. Do whatever it takes to treat the job hunt like a job in and of itself. Make calls, write emails, do research, get active. Each day without full time employment is another step towards financial problems you do not want to deal with.
11. Do Everything Else
Searching for a new job is not a task with clearly definable goals and steps. The hunt can seem endless because there are so many things you can do to get a job. Whatever path you choose to take, just make sure you never stop.