Looking productive when unemployed is critical to show potential employers that you still have your career mojo going on.
Everyone knows that there are a ton of reasons as to why someone might not be working at the present. But it’s what you do with your spare time that still matters.
My advice to people who are trying to keep things moving at a good clip is to focus on what you can do around the actual job search activities themselves.
It’s all about looking productive.
If possible, try to get involved with a professional industry career association as a volunteer, committee member, or board member.
Staying connected keeps your contacts fresh and it is easier to talk to people about a job loss and find a galvanized, sympathetic audience when they are peers with whom you have been working closely, rather than an unknown quantity.
Additionally, there is one distinct advantage that you have when you aren’t working: you now have the time you’ve always tried to carve out for brushing up on your skill sets!
Looking productive means signing up for classes to erase skill gaps, gain new expertise, and to supercharge your candidacy… whereas your peers who are stuck in a 9-5 job are so busy that they don’t have time to focus attention on their own professional development.
So make sure you take classes and educate yourself so you are looking productive when unemployed to show prospective employers that you aren’t letting the proverbial moss grow.
It’s all about getting then maintaining traction.
And think about it from a hiring manager’s perspective:
Who would you want to hire?
Someone who has been active in multiple industry organizations, taking classes, and staying involved?
Or someone who has blockaded themselves in their home and really doesn’t have anything to show of the time that they have spent off the payroll?