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Tips for sharpening your skills during unemployment

Posted by Aidan McCrea
November 7th, 2016

A period of unemployment doesn't have to be a slow time for your career development, in fact if the time is spent wisely, it can be hugely beneficial for your career.

Unemployment gives you a great opportunity to examine your skillset, your potential job opportunities and your career goals. Whatever your field, there’s always opportunities to continue to work even without classic 9-5 employment.

Here are some tips that will help you spend your unemployment improving yourself and your chances of finding the perfect career opportunity.

Take up a volunteer position

While simple, this rather easy solution for the boredom of unemployment can be an incredible catalyst for future opportunities and growth. Whether you’re interested in getting involved with a not-for-profit or a professional association, these positions are plentiful and will provide you with great connections and references.

Also, anytime you’re able to do extra, different work, you’re bond to learn new skills that will help you develop. Make sure you take advantage of any opportunities that come your way, or better yet, seek them out!


Finding events in your community to attend and network with fellow job seekers and employers is a no-brainer for anyone unemployed. These events are often put on by community centers and can, obviously, be extremely beneficial.

As a quick tip for attending, do your best to show up with business cards and other work samples to make sure employers remember you.

Start a Blog

Whether industry specific or simply personal interest based, starting a blog can help you create a more developed personal brand. Also, having a blog can be a perfect addition to your application package. Most employers expect new hires to have some kind of online presence outside of basic social media pages.

Do remember that any blog you create needs to be appropriate. Having something NSFW is okay, but make sure you keep it password protected, or better yet, don’t associate yourself with.

Treat your unemployment like a full-time job

It’s tempting to lax into a lull during a time of unemployment. This can harm you in many ways, but the biggest is just that it takes you out of your routine. Try your best to maintain your work routine while unemployed. In saying this I mean continuing to get up early, shower and spend all-day working on bettering yourself and finding a job.


Keeping fit while unemployed is all about maintaining your motivation. It’s important that throughout your period of unemployment you maintain your fitness routine. Aside from staying fit, it will improve your mood and allow you to continue to stay positive.