Edited March 7, 2014
Read on to discover seven ways you can use unemployment to your advantage and achieve a more rewarding life.
If you were recently fired, odds are you’re feeling shocked, overwhelmed and a little disgruntled. While it may be easy to focus on the negative implications this change may have, resist the urge to give in to fear. Believe it or not, being fired can result in positive change.
Here’s how to make the most of your revised employment status:
1. Investigate Your Social Media Profiles. If you’ve been at your job long before Facebook and its social siblings hit the scene, you’re probably a bit lax about your social media content. But if you’re hoping to get hired again, your approach towards social media needs to change. These days, potential employers often investigate a candidate’s social media profile, and what they find could land your resume in the recycling bin. Search your social media outlets for less than professional Tweets, pictures, comments and status updates and delete them. Then promptly set your profile settings to private.
2. Feeling Fulfilled? Did you feel fulfilled at your last job? As you start looking for a new one, take inventory of what you liked and disliked about past jobs. If flexibility is at the top of your list, you might want to consider finding a virtual job that parallels one you did in a traditional office setting. Brainstorm what you need and want out of your job and what you want to avoid, and then use this as a guide when evaluating potential opportunities. Getting fired could offer the chance to make that career leap you’ve always wanted.
3. Consider Part-Time Work. You might be receiving unemployment, but it won’t be long before you’re dipping into that dwindling savings account. Taking on a part-time job is not only a good financial move, it also allows you to try work you’ve always found interesting and could blossom into a new career.
Do you love to garden? Consider a part-time job working at a nursery. Are you a book worm? Head to your local book store and fill out an application. Love food? A part-time job at your favorite restaurant could help pay the bills. Part-time work also gives you the opportunity to interact with others, and receive positive feedback that your bruised ego might well deserve. Bonus: The flexibility of part-time work leaves you with plenty of time to job search.
4. Focus on Fitness. Your routine has vanished. You’re financially stressed and maybe even a bit unsure of yourself. It’s no wonder you’re feeling down in the dumps. Thankfully, getting fired has left you with time to start exercising. Exercising not only lifts your spirits and helps relieve stress, it also gets you out of the house and networking. Committing to an exercise program will also foster optimistic feelings and increase your confidence- which is sure to come in handy at your next interview.
5. Find a New Skill – or Two. Take an online course, attend a seminar, register for a class at your community college or fire up your Kindle and read a helpful book. You finally have the time to expand your skill set, gain knowledge that makes you more marketable in your field or helps you advance down a new career path.
6. Improve Your Virtual Network. Social media offers nearly limitless opportunities to network. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, and with 277 million members, there’s no so there’s no doubt you’ll discover former colleagues, managers and friends to connect with. You’ll also find professional groups, employment opportunities and company reviews.
Spend as much time as it takes to create your LinkedIn profile because one that’s incomplete or hastily put together is more harmful to your job search than having none at all. And it doesn’t hurt to let your Facebook friends know you’re reaching out for new opportunities, too. You might want to consider creating a visual resume that you can post on any number of social sites.
7. Streamline Your Life. Now that getting fired has left you with time to reflect on things, it’s the perfect time to ask: “How can I simplify my life?” If you’re like most of us, your day is constantly overbooked and you have closets, drawers, and an attic full of unnecessary things. Streamline your life by limiting your commitments to only those things that are really meaningful to you, and de-clutter your home. You’ll feel refreshed and invigorated and free as you embark on you new career path.
Getting fired isn’t something you hoped for but it doesn’t have to be a negative event. Rather than dwell on it, consider that getting fired has offered an opportunity to improve the quality of your professional and personal life and put some of our tips in action today.
What positive changes have you created as a result of being fired?
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