Still unemployed? What are your options?

Being unemployed can leave you with a lot of spare time on your hands. It is good to utilize this time and take control to the maximum so when employers ask what you have been doing you can tell them something better than sitting around watching TV all day. Try taking up a sport like running, it’s cheaper than the gym and will keep you fit.

Take ControlSpend some of that time examining your priorities and long term plans. Ask what would make you happy, question your goals, set new goals. Dust off dreams you always thought were impractical and question what it would take to turn those dreams into reality. Sometimes they’re more practical than you think. Ideas like going back to school can work if you change your lifestyle to live frugally and work toward a better future.

Go back and study – The most sought-after skills are finance, accounting, management, law, and medicine. With technology taking over there are many “new jobs” that weren’t around 5 years ago, for example – Social Media Jobs / App Development / Mobile development.
Just remember that if you are unskilled, employers look for skills and experience; they regard unskilled, inexperienced jobseekers as a risky investment. So now would be the perfect time to gain some skills and knowledge in the industry you are interested in.

Some ideas on what you can do if you are unemployed

Freelance / Temp / Waitress
Your chances of getting a temp job go up if you have open availability and are willing to do a wide range of work, so try to be as flexible as possible. If you get those first few jobs, you can demonstrate that you’ll show up reliably and cheerfully, which will make you more likely to start getting regular calls. Temping will, at a minimum, give you a pay check and something to put on your CV, but it can also build connections that can help you find job leads down the road. Some temp roles are even temp-to-perm, which can give you an inside track on a more permanent position.
There are always part-time jobs available. The pay may be low, and the hours not that great but it is better than not making any money at all. A job with evening or night time hours will leave your day free so that you can continue to look for work. Waitressing is also a great way to meet people and you never know – you could be serving your future boss for lunch one day.

Start a blog
Start a blog and discuss topics you have interest in. If your topics are factual and relevant – you will start to gain followers who could help you in your job hunting process in the future.
Try writing a book, you never know, you may find that’s a new strength. These days you can publish an online book practically free of charge.

Crowd source
What is Crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.[1] This process is often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, and can also occur offline.[2] It combines the efforts of numerous self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each contributor of their own initiative adds a small portion to the greater result.

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Do volunteer work
Your future interviewers will be impressed. Not only is volunteering likely to boost your CV and give you some good references, but it is also a very rewarding experience. It will stop you from feeling bored or disappointed because you will be already working.

Lower the bar
Look at a different position / salary/ title. Many people make the mistake of not being prepared to start at the bottom. There is no shame in taking a lower paying job / lower title. At least you can work your way up.

Work from home / start your own business
The skills you have from previous jobs / or from a hobby you enjoy may be marketable. Research online what it would take to market those skills and get clients. Many people make their own jobs by finding things to do that earn money and doing enough of it to make a living. “Started a motorcycle repair business, then decided self-employment wasn’t for me” does not look bad on a CV – it looks proactive.

If you are really struggling to find a job, try pestering your family and friends who have jobs, to get you one. Even if it is data entry or the most boring job in the world, if you can get your foot on the ladder then it’s a start to a new career.

Don’t just rely on job agencies to get you a job. You have to put in the time and effort.

If you’ve been going on a lot of interviews, but not receiving job offers, it’s time to re-examine your interviewing technique.

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5 Responses

  1. N P MHLANGA says:

    Thanks for the motivation you wrote above!

  2. Thabo Ngoma says:

    I am so stressed I am a family man my wife and kids are struggling, and now I am a useless father to my kids I really need a job. I am a qualified electrician and having 8 years of exprience but since a lot a job I can’t find a job please help me a this piont I am looking for any kind of job so that I can put something on the table. Please help I have been applying but no response. Help

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Thabo – Follow up with recruiters once you have applied. If you don’t get feedback from them within 14 days, assume that you did not get the job and move forward. Remember: Recruiters receive up to 700 applications for a single position, so you might not hear back from them immediately. You need to contact them. Be pro-active! Hope you find employment soon!

  3. amandah says:

    I have applied for so many times but still no reply@im good at my work but eish its times are tough

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hope you find employment soon, make sure that you follow up with employers when you have applied

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