Part 2 of 2
By Bernard Freeman
Job Hunting While Unemployed
There are many reasons why Americans find themselves unemployed. Perhaps a company downsized a position, shut down or simply terminated employment. Regardless of the reason, job hunting without a job presents sizable hurdles.
Fill the Gaps
One of the biggest challenges for unemployed job hunters is the gap on their resumes. There are ways to strategically fill the gaps and using your free time to make a difference. Here are some beneficial tips from the UCLA Student and Alumni Services.
If you lost your job:
Be professional and mature about why you were terminated. Negative words about a previous employer will almost always be a deal breaker. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and what you learned from the experience.
If you went back to school:
Take advantage by explaining you took a break from your career to focus on expanding your educational goals.
If you took care of family:
Explain the general situation without being too personal. Perhaps, you had a new child, or a family member became ill. Showcase things you learned while you were being a caretaker and how it benefits you professionally.
Join a Group
There are likely many others in your community who found themselves in the same position. Network with other job-hunters to discover leads and offer support to one another. To find like-minded people, reach out on social media, at events like career fairs or at a public library. Encouraging others to land a position will also give you motivation.
Find a Job Fair
An opportunity to get your qualifications in the hands of many different hiring managers is to attend a local job fair. You get the chance to explain your unemployment in a face-to-face setting without waiting on a scheduled interview.
Choosing from Multiple Offers
If you are unemployed and struggling to keep up financially, the highest offer may seem like the most enticing option. However, it is important to think long term. Which company best suits your future goals and gives you the best chance of moving up the ranks and establishing yourself in a career?
Here are a few considerations to make before deciding between multiple offers.
Consider What is Most Important
When facing several job options, don’t forget what attracted you to the position in the first place. Employers have increased company perks to attract top talent to their workforce. Many become impressed by the benefits rather than focus on the job description.
While a solid benefit package should be part of your considerations, make sure you will enjoy the job and it meets your standards. If you think of any questions that never came up in the interview, it’s a good idea to talk with your hiring manager to address your concerns.
Where Do You Want to Grow?
If advancing in your career interests you, make sure to reach out to managers about internal opportunities. When a company promotes from within, they are investing in their employees to enhance their overall success. Think about the future and consider how comfortable you feel growing with a company based on the workload and overall mission. Also, consider how committed you are to the community near the office.
Before you begin applying for new positions, take the time to familiarize yourself with a new field and show hiring managers you are serious by taking strides to learn more about the industry.
Analyze general qualifications for the jobs you want. If you notice you lack the required degree for the position, sometimes there is no choice other than going back to school and obtaining certification. It can be a long process to land your dream job but if you have the time to dedicate yourself, the rewards will be well-deserved.
Balancing School and a Job
If you find yourself requiring additional education before you can begin a new career, holding down your current job while studying can be challenging. Follow these tips from Honor Society to avoid burning out and give your complete attention to the experience.
Ask an employer to work with your schedule. Make sure to disclose your decision to pursue additional education to better yourself and future.
Plan ahead. Be prepared to sacrifice social activities and remain dedicated to performing at both work and school.
Don’t get in over your head. Remember to make some time for yourself. Even if that means working extra hours to give yourself a day off in the future, taking care of yourself is crucial to successfully juggling a career and continuing education.
Apply for internships to sharpen your skills on the field you are considering. This may not always be possible for those with financial commitments, but if you can comfortably take a break from work, this experience will look great on a resume. Don’t be discouraged if you feel finances will hold you back from this opportunity. Show your interest to companies, you may get lucky and find one who does pay enough for you to live well while learning more.
Look for volunteer opportunities. They provide interesting experience to put on an application while serving a purpose in which you believe.
If you’re struggling to find a rewarding career or a job that fully utilizes your talents, check out a few of the occupations that are expecting a rapid-growth rate over the next decade. These median salaries and positions are per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
2017 Median Salary: $39,490
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, it is estimated that, in late 2018, two million solar installations will have been performed in the United States. They also state by 2023, that number will be as high as four million installations. This growing position requires workers to install, assemble and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops and other structures.
Qualifications typically require a high school diploma and training. The field is expected to grow 105 percent by 2026.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians
2017 Median Salary: $53,880
These devices that change kinetic energy created by the wind into electricity require regular inspections and maintenance. As a technician, expect to work outdoors, in confined spaces and sometimes great heights.
Wind turbines are an alternative electricity source that is expected to see a growth of 96 percent by 2026. The Wind Energy Foundation states, each year in the United States, wind installations will save the nation more than 20 billion gallons of water that would otherwise be used for steam or cooling in conventional plants.
Workers are granted a great career path and the chance to do their part for the environment.
Home Health Aides
2017 Median Salary: $23,210
Home health aides deliver beneficial services to those with disabilities, chronic illnesses or cognitive impairment by evaluating them in the comfort of their home. This career path is an excellent choice for those with an interest in health care. The field is expected to grow a staggering 41 percent by 2026. As Baby Boomers age, the need for home health aides will increase.