Unemployment is not a great place to be. In fact, it feels horrible. Knowing that you are no longer wanted or needed at your place of employment is only compounded by being reliant on your government for sustenance. But in some instances, this can be a great place to reset your career.
Church communications is likely different than most businesses in that your career is often tied to a calling. Your faith and your profession are inexplicably intertwined. Yet when times get tough, you need to re-evaluate your situation. Regardless of your decision to stay with a religious organization, you will need all the advantages at your disposal.
First, Get Accountability
Work provides our lives with significant structure as well as meaning. When it is taken away, we can slip into bad habits. Ask a close friend to help you stay accountable for being productive. You also want to avoid falling into temptation with a variety of addictions, from drugs to pornography. Regular meetings, as well as surprise visits, may be exactly what you need to maximize what you accomplish between jobs.
Update Your Portfolio
Hopefully, you have been taking screenshots of your work and documenting all the great things you have accomplished. If not, try to recreate what you can. Capture as much as possible, so you can be selective in what you showcase. Do your best to portray your best work, with enough depth and variation to land you an ideal job.
Training and Education
This does not have to be formal education. In fact, there are many great low-cost ways to improve yourself. But do not go back to work with the exact same body of knowledge in your brain. For example, see my article on education.
Conferences and Networking
Many conferences have free or low-cost options for virtual attendees. Take advantage of these and be sure to attend the networking events. Have business cards and/or an updated LinkedIn profile ready. Be ready to discuss the latest trends along with the ideal job you are looking for.
Start a Side Project
Many of today’s most successful products started out as a side project. Dig deep and remember those ideas you had over the years. This is your opportunity to make it a reality. If you have benefited from this blog at all, remember that this is also a side project!
Recharge Your batteries
You may not be able to embark on a vacation with your unemployment check. But, you can certainly start exercising, rejuvenate your prayer life, or start a new hobby. Utilize free resources around you such as public libraries and community centers. There are plenty of affordable ways to clear your mind and focus on your future.
In the event you find yourself out of a job, I hope you found some inspiration here. Take heart that many times the proverbial door that closed means that others will open. But wishful thinking only goes so far. Get an accountability partner and work on at least one of the items in this article. Lastly, do not forget to take some of this new time to deepen your prayer life. You never know what direction the Lord may nudge you toward.
Note: Every time I was out of work, I found myself in a better situation after re-starting my career. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact me for more information.
Photo courtesy of Mikhail Nilov.