What to Consider When Between Jobs
When you’re between jobs, the last thing you want to hear is some motivational speech about how "when one door closes another one opens." The average platitudes we hear from well-meaning family and friends can become more than a little annoying. Still, it’s important that you don’t get too focused on the negative aspects of unemployment. The time you have now can actually help you find what you’re looking for; you just have to take a little time to consider several aspects of your current career track and your career goals.
Finding your bliss
Surprisingly, most people are satisfied with their current jobs. It's rare that someone has a job that makes them jump out of bed and excitedly rush off to work every day but, at the very least, your job shouldn’t make you miserable. If you were fed up with your previous job, how likely are you to find yourself in the same situation with a new job in the same industry? If you have any doubts about your field, you have the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and explore new career options.
Showing some class
Speaking of expanding your horizons, you should think about going back to school, for a degree or just a class or two. Learning new skills can make you more marketable and can help you earn the skills or certification needed to enter a new field. Among the new skills you pick up, modern job search skills should be near the top of your list. Five years ago it was tough to find a job without a computer; now it's tough to find a job without a social media presence. If you can learn how to use social media sites to your advantage, it may help you to find a new job in your current field or a completely new one.
Protecting your health
While you’re chasing your dreams, there are still some day-to-day issues to deal with, and one of them is health insurance. If you or a family member get sick and can't afford treatment, it's could slow down your job search. When you leave a job, you leave your health insurance behind unless you opt to take COBRA or another form of temporary health insurance that can tide you over for a few months. The advantage of COBRA is that it can give you the same level of coverage that you’re accustomed to having with your previous employer. Beyond that, you can also sometimes get help with health insurance coverage by seeking government assistance programs through your state.
This should go without saying, but you’ll need to adjust your budget when you’re unemployed. Even though you may find a job very quickly, you should budget as if your savings need to last a very long time. It's important to keep living and doing the things you enjoy, but you may want to put off that vacation in Hawaii or buying that brand new Harley. This is also a great time to give up expensive habits like smoking.
Being between jobs isn’t the end of the world, but you could make it the end of a life chapter. Take the time to get your affairs in order to make it through the down time and retool for your next job (or career).