Being unemployed is tough. Being long-term unemployed is a real misery-compiler; It can lead to depression, stress and even feelings of inadequacy.
It’s a nasty cycle: (Inhale) The longer you’re unemployed, the worse that you feel. The worse that you feel, the less employable you become. The less employable you become, the less likely you are to find a job (exhale).
Also, long gaps in your CV can result in you being categorised as ‘damaged goods’ – which is a dangerous label…
Throw in the towel? Don’t be so silly!
We have taken the liberty of compiling a list of tips to help you regain your ‘mojo’ and get back into employment:
1. Be Positive and Proactive- If you’re feeling de-motivated and run down you’re unlikely to spring out of bed, electric slide over to the shower and make the most of your day. However, this is exactly what you must do every day. According to ‘the experts’ the most essential ingredient for getting back into meaningful employment and keeping the job is the discipline of setting an alarm and not hitting snooze multiple times!
If you need help with your smile then this motivational video by the amazing Will Smith should do it:
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2. Stay Current – Read industry publications, look in the business section of the papers – you can even get a copy of City AM every morning if it is relevant. The aim is to not let yourself become obsolete. The worst thing that could happen is you blow an interview because your views and approaches are dated! It also shows potential employers that you’ve made the effort to keep up-to-date with the industry, and will make your transition back into the industry much easier.
3. Sharpen Your Skills – Arguable THE most important thing you can do to enhance your employability is to update your skills. Complete some relevant courses; perhaps a computer skills course or something relevant to the career path you are interested in – there are lots of free courses online if money is an issue. This will lead to a huge ripple effect in your positivity and confidence and also show any future employer that you have actively been trying to enhance your situation and sharpen your skills. This will also help to fill gaps on your CV.
4. Work/Train For Free – This may sound completely unthinkable, but let me assure you that it can have huge benefits. You can register at your nearest job centre or work alongside government funded sector-based academies. They are specially designed to get people back into work and should therefore not be ignored. Ever considered voluntary work? It could be helping out a local charity, performing enriching services in your community, or even doing a hard-hitting internship somewhere. They all boost your employability, sharpen your skills and show future employers that you are active and determined to improve your situation.
5. Call Your Old Boss – Do you have a former employer who you got along well with? If so, keep in touch with them and explain your situation. When you’ve re-built some rapport ask if you can meet with them. When you meet you can broach the possibility of working for them, utilising their contacts or even just getting some advice from someone who knows your skills and personality.
The whole process is good to keep you proactive and get you back into the swing of things. Treat it like an interview and practise your lines. The worst thing that can happen is you stay in the same position; but the positive outcomes could be plentiful…
6. Consider Temp Work – This is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door and secure yourself a permanent spot within the company. It is also provides a strong networking opportunity, which is always beneficial for the future.
For those of you who are on Jobseekers Allowance or other benefits this is a tough choice. Although it is easy enough to re-sign up for them, especially if you discuss your case with your worker and request a rapid reclaim if the temp post doesn’t work out. It will also look much better on your CV than ‘claiming job-seeker’s allowance’ and shows that you have made sacrifices to get back into employment.
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