Whether you’re in between contracts, waiting for an employer to get back to you, or searching for your first “real” job…being without work can be very stressful.
As students, money is already tight. And missing a single paycheque could be the difference between meat and potatoes for dinner, or ramen all week. It’s hard to get hired. Trust me, I know. The good news is, we live in a world filled with opportunities to stay productive (and even make some money). And many of them exist inside the screens we use every day. Here are seven things you can do while you’re waiting to get hired:
1. Learn a New Language
There are several apps on the market that can help you to learn a new language. One of my favourites is Duolingo. Learning a new language could lead to more job opportunities, or maybe even a travel adventure. Also, it’s an impressive thing to add to your dating profile!
2. Do Freelance Work
It has never been easier to work as a freelancer or start your own business. The internet has opened up endless opportunities to teach, edit, write, and outsource work – all with our fingertips! I like using Upwork to find contracts. I’ve also used Freelancer, and 5Crowd. There are also several opportunities within your networks to find work. Simply put out a call on social media and see if someone needs an extra hand or set of eyes on a project.
3. Start a Blog/Vlog/Podcast
Depending on your strengths, use this time to get creative. You’re likely not the only person going through this phase, so leverage this unique time in your life by sharing content with the rest of the world. If you’re a strong writer, good at video editing, or have the voice of Denzel Washington – use those strengths to create something. Who knows? Maybe it will lead to future opportunities to make some extra cash. Use Medium to get your blog going. Use YouTube to start you vlog. And if you’re interested in creating a podcast, check out Anchor.
4. Get to the Gym
If you’ve been waiting to get that gym membership, there couldn’t be a better time. Start creating a routine for yourself and those habits will follow you even when you get hired. A big part of feeling confident is having a good and healthy relationship with your body. And that feeling can be fostered at the gym, if you’re dedicated enough.
5. Volunteer/ Intern
Volunteering or interning sounds like a lot of labour with no pay. But consider that it could lead to you getting hired full-time if you put your all into it. It’s also a chance to get the extra experience you need to stand out from other resumes when applying for jobs. Lastly, volunteering or interning can be a chance to meet like-minded people and network with folks in your prospective field of work. Check out Catch A Fire for cool opportunities.
6. Take a Class
A cooking class. A coding class. A kickboxing class. Use your free time to learn a new skill. It will add value to your life and may even be something you can use to beef up your resume. You can even try doing online class if you’re on a budget, there are also a ton of budget-friendly options. Look to sites like Udemy, AcademicEarth, Khan Academy, Lynda, SkillShare, and MasterClass to find something you want to learn.
7. Stay Optimistic and Active in Your Job Search
The most important thing is to stay positive and keep looking for jobs. You don’t have to apply for every job you see but keep your options open, even if you’re waiting to hear back from your “dream job”. Remember, even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was broke in his early 20’s! Perseverance and hard work go a long way!
Not getting hired right after graduation is nothing to beat yourself up over, especially if you’re using the time to prepare yourself for your next journey. Once you get into the working world, you’ll be wishing you had some extra time to focus on yourself. No matter what you choose to do, make sure to stay productive, the worst thing you could do during this time is develop poor habits or a lazy routine. If you’re feeling super down, just remember that everybody has had a time in their life when they didn’t know what their next move should be. Even billionaire, Mark Cuban, had a time where he had $0.00 in the bank and no job. Happy job hunting!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.