Becoming unemployed was actually a blessing in disguise. In the time I have been unemployed I’ve learned countless life-long lessons in both my professional and personal life. As I mentioned in my past blog “Who Am I” I learned more being unemployed than I did in my last two positions combined. Honestly, I didn’t really like my last job. But, when my position was eliminated I felt lost. My husband and I had to cut back on a lot of expenses. I continuously worried about the possibility of taking yet another job I would end up hating. My history of jobs I hate is just about every job I’ve held with the exception of an unpaid position and one temporary assignment.
I started off applying for anything with the word “marketing” in it and had many phone interviews. I had no second interviews. I had a couple in person interviews two of which I really wanted. But, they didn’t call back. When they didn’t call back I obsessed over how I wasn’t good enough and how I would never be good at interviewing.
After a few months I decided I needed to make some changes. I then started attending free seminars that I heard about on: networking, interviewing, LinkedIn and other topics. I joined a networking group for unemployed people and there were many great guest speakers. After a month I joined the committee and volunteered to write the newsletter. Here’s a list containing most of the things I’ve learned while unemployed:
- I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t the only one who felt lost
- In order to learn and grow I had to do things outside of my comfort zone
- I could conduct informational interviews to learn more about my industry
- I could conduct informational interviews to have my resume and portfolio viewed
- By networking I could build my network and help others
- By creating a to-do list for myself each day, I could stay motivated
- In order to feel like accomplished something at the end of the day I needed to check off most of the things on my to-do list
- How to identify my strengths and market them effectively
- That I loved to write and that was an important part of marketing
- To view myself as a product and focus on what differentiates me from everyone else
- It’s okay to take your time, it’s better to find something you love and can see yourself in long term then get a job you will end up hating
- To write down my ideal culture and values and focus on companies that align with those
- What a Master Mind group is and how it will be beneficial to me
- To practice interview questions and research the most popular answers and come up with answers for “why I want to work there” and “why I’m the best candidate” ahead of time
- To not rush through interview questions by reminding myself continuously to relax
- To practice my elevator speech the typical: Tell Me about Yourself? question
- To come up with questions specific to the company I’m applying at and ask as many as possible during the interview and at the end (I read an article saying it was the most important part of the interview)
- To take the time to update and improve my LinkedIn (with an effective summary, by sharing articles, asking for recommendations, following: groups, companies and people
- To take the time to post articles on Twitter under a professional profile and utilize it to find a position
- To check LinkedIn for any people who might know someone at a company I’m applying at
- To be confident in myself and my abilities; because my experience is unique
- To continuously focus on: how I can help someone else!
- To continuously learn something new every day, by reading articles, attending speaker presentations or networking with other people
- To not follow any one person’s advice completely, to follow my own path and only follow advice that aligns with my own goals and level of comfort
- To focus on my goals for the future instead of what will make me the most money
- To never be complacent in a position, because the chance of being unemployed again is very likely, job security no longer exists
- To read inspirational books in an effort to continuously grow myself as a professional
- That I’m the only one in control of my professional career and if I don’t take action and do things I’m not comfortable with I’m never going to move forward in my life
- To do something fun each and every day and workout to stay active
- To be happy with my life despite being unemployed
- Showing positivity when dealing with people who look down on me for being out of work and being able to explain how I’m learning and growing while unemployed
Most importantly I learned that my perception and the way I view things can hold me back from achieving my goals. But, by trying to maintain a positive attitude each and every day I’m more likely to accomplish my goals and land a position.
If you made it to the end of my list, I hope you learned at least one new thing. All the things I listed were helpful to me. This list is about helping other people. I’ve learned that whether you’re happily employed, unemployed, or a college graduate looking for a job you should continuously be working to learn something new as a professional outside of your job description. Whether that’s reading books, reading articles, watching videos, attending an event or taking a class.
You can learn something new from anyone no matter what age they are or what their background is. In the world we live in with all the advancements in technology it’s important to continuously learn new things as a professional.