So you’re in between jobs – what should you do?Being in between jobs can be either the most refreshing experience you’ll ever have or the worst. Consider that from a potential employer’s perspective, the way you spend that time can say a lot about your work ethic and how you’ll fit into their organisation. Although it takes a lot of determination to stay productive while you’re out of work, here are eight tips on how to take advantage of your free time and increase your chance of finding the job of your dreams.Many job seekers are familiar with the cliché that job searching is a full-time job. Although job searching indeed takes a lot of time and effort, scrolling through job boards for 24 hours a day is not the way to go. Focusing your efforts on your priorities can make all the difference in finding your next job. If you’re looking for a job in a specialist industry, you should focus on the companies operating in that market and free up some time to perfect your personal branding.Establish a RoutineAdopting a consistent routine is crucial. Start your day at a regular time, mirroring a typical workday. This routine should include dedicated periods for job search activities, skill development, and personal projects. Establishing a routine brings a sense of structure, preventing feelings of aimlessness. Include time for exercise and relaxation to maintain balance. A structured day ensures you remain focused and prevents the blurring of personal and professional time, a common issue when not working in a traditional role.Skill EnhancementThis period is ideal for improving your skill set. Identify areas for growth or new skills that could enhance your employability. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and FutureLearn offer a huge range of courses, from industry-specific skills to broader topics like communication or leadership. Customise your learning to align with your career goals. Setting aside some time each day to learn not only keeps your skills sharp but also demonstrates to future employers your commitment to continuous personal and professional development.NetworkingNetworking should be top on your list of activities when in between jobs. Hang around LinkedIn and other professional networks to connect with industry peers. Engage in relevant group discussions and share your thoughts (where appropriate – make sure you ‘read the room’), which can elevate your professional profile. Attending webinars, virtual conferences, or local industry meet-ups can open doors to new opportunities. Networking isn’t just about finding the next job; it’s about building relationships that can offer support, advice, and insights into industry trends and opportunities.Physical and Mental WellbeingThe significance of maintaining physical and mental well-being cannot be overstated. Regular physical activity, whether it’s a morning jog, yoga, or gym session, not only improves your physical health but also boosts mental clarity and mood. It’s also a time to practise mindfulness or meditation if you enjoy it, which can greatly reduce stress and anxiety levels. Engaging in activities such as reading, painting, or even gardening can be therapeutic and helpful for calmness. Prioritising sleep is equally important; a regular sleep schedule rebuilds the body and mind, preparing you for the challenges of job searching and skill development.Personal ProjectsJumping into personal projects can be immensely rewarding. This could be an ideal time to start a blog, work on a craft project, or even begin writing something. Such projects not only boost creativity but also can add to your professional portfolio, showing off your initiative and range of skills to potential employers. They can also provide a refreshing break from the routine of job searching and skill development, offering a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.VolunteeringVolunteering offers a dual benefit: contributing to the community and enhancing your own skills and experience. Consider opportunities that match your career interests or passions. For example if you’re in marketing, volunteering to help a non-profit with their social media can be both fulfilling and professionally useful. Volunteering also expands your network, connecting you with like-minded individuals and potential mentors. It’s a constructive way to fill gaps in your CV, demonstrating ongoing engagement and commitment to personal growth.Job Market ResearchStaying across the job market is essential during this period as well. Dedicate time to research the latest trends and demands in your industry. This can involve subscribing to industry-specific things, following influencers on social media, and joining professional groups. Understanding emerging technologies, shifts in market demand, or new roles can provide a competitive edge in your job search. Regularly update your CV and LinkedIn profile to reflect any new skills or experiences you’ve acquired. On top of this, keeping track of companies you admire and potential job openings can help you apply promptly when opportunities arise.Financial ManagementFinancial responsibility is key during times of unemployment. You’ll need a comprehensive budget, listing all your essential expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, and any loan repayments. Look for areas where you can cut back, like non-essential subscriptions or luxury purchases. If your savings are limited, consider temporary or contract work to fill the gap. This not only helps with financial stability but can also be a source of new experiences and skills. It’s probably worth exploring any government assistance programs for which you may be eligible during this time too.SummaryToo often jobseekers choose to work with a company that isn’t aligned with their personal values or career objectives because they cannot afford to be out of work. However, your job satisfaction is an integral part of your personal well-being, and your performance on the job can have a lasting impact on your self-confidence. Many of these jobseekers end up leaving again, only more frustrated than before.Do not despair! By taking a proactive approach, you can turn your downtime into an opportunity and find the job that you always dreamed of.If you need help finding the best match for your skills and expertise, we can help you explore your options and discover opportunities in the IT sector. Please feel free to get in touch with us today.