What should you do when you are out of work?

Four things you can do while you are underemployed.

Sometimes we find ourselves out of work or in-between jobs. Based off tips in “The Essentials of Business Etiquette” by Barbara Pachter, Michigan State University Extension has a few suggestions for what you can do during the transition period.

  1. Keep learning. Take a course at a community college, read a non-fiction book related to your industry or listen to podcasts. Engaging in activities that continue to develop your skills and knowledge demonstrates your willingness to continue growing. These learning activities also enhance your resume and the conversation during your interview.
  2. Volunteer. Find a cause that is important to you or one connected to your field of industry. Volunteering will provide an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new individuals to build your network.
  3. Network. Share with your trusted friends, family members and acquaintances that you are looking for an opportunity. Provide details on the type of career path in which you have interest. It helps to share your resume with those who want more information or details to help you in the process. Thank everyone who has helped you, even if it does not lead to a position. Help others, as well, when you have the chance to share a posting or provide a reference yourself. A strong network involves mutual support.
  4. Focus on applying. It is a full-time job to find a job, so spend at least a few hours every day connecting with your network, following up on leads, updating your resume and, most of all, applying for jobs. Take the time to expand your search and follow all the requirements for the posting. Revise your resume and cover letter to match each position. This takes time but is necessary for success.

Staying positive and enthusiastic during your search will serve you well. Engaging in a variety of activities during this time will help keep up your morale. Your next career is on the horizon!

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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