Whether you've just graduated from college or you are starting down a new path in your career, it can be really difficult being in between jobs. Especially for the Type-A, ambitious types who excelled in school and have a distinct vision of what they want their life to look like. In my personal experience, it truly is difficult not to let your self worth get too tangled up with employment status.
My friends who have experienced this and I agree that it's important to keep busy, not only with your job search but with self-improvement in general. While it may feel really hard, your time between jobs is the perfect time to grow.
Here are ten things to try:
Create a vision board.
Evaluate or re-evaluate what your life vision looks like by making a physical or digital vision board. Keep it specific and look at it everyday to remember what you're aiming for. Manifestation Babe has a great video providing an overview on how to make and use vision boards.
Learn a new skill.
Use some of your newfound free time to learn or brush up on a valuable skill. Get back into the habit of studying French, practice a new form of art or a tough baking technique, or learn to code. This creative exercise is a great place to start if you're not sure what to pursue.
Connect with yourself.
As I said above, the time between jobs can be very challenging mentally and spiritually. It requires a lot of self-awareness, persistence, and faith. Spend some time each day meditating to cultivate a sense of calm and comfort knowing that everything with work out. You can also take this time to evaluate the different areas of your life and determine where changes should be made.
Set a routine.
It's tempting to throw your schedule out the window, but sticking to a routine is a good way to stay productive. Keep in mind, the routine can certainly be flexible as each day will be different. I recommend at least setting a consistent wake-up time as well as enriching morning and evening routines.
Improve your resume.
It may seem obvious, but one of the first things you should do during your time off is to evaluate your resume, update it, and make any necessary improvements. Consider trying a new design and don't forget to add any skills or projects you worked on since your last resume update.
Connect with friends and other contacts.
Networking often is the key to finding a new position, so use your free time to connect with friends, family, and other contacts who may be able to point you in the right direction. If you can, schedule a lunch or coffee date but at the very least, send out some emails.
Practice for interviews.
Each interview is different, but there are common pieces of information that you should have prepared for all interviews. Develop your sixty second "Tell me about yourself" pitch and think about some anecdotes to share when asked behavioral questions. What were your wins in your last job? What were your mistakes and how did you rectify them?
Work on a passion project.
Not all of your time in between jobs needs to be spent on the job search. It's a great time in your life to commit more time to a passion project such as a blog, a certain fitness goal, or maybe a novel you've been considering working on.
Not only is volunteering a humbling experience that will make you grateful for all you do have, but it is also a positive way to give back to the community that, in turn, can help you to realize some of your passions and maybe even meet new contacts.
Enjoy the time off.
This is the hardest one for me and for so many others, I think. We can be so laser focused on finding the next opportunity, that we don't allow ourselves to rest, relax, and enjoy the time off. It won't help anyone if you spend your time off so stressed that you're already on edge when you start your next position. So, if you need a movie day or to take a stress-free weekend trip, don't feel bad, just do it.