Recently I read an article from Workbuzz that said, “Rejection from employers or the inability to find work can have a serious effect on a job seeker’s likelihood of remaining interested and motivated.” I believe this is true, and if the thought of giving up ever crossed your mind because of chronic unemployment, then you and I have something in common. The stark reality of looking for work or transitioning to a new career can often be frustrating, stressful and emotionally draining. The truth is, the longer you are unemployed, the more damaging it is to your self-esteem. You become less motivated, and simply put, just want to give up! I call it, ‘the unemployed funk.’ Fortunately, there are ways to rid yourself of the funk. One of the many things you can do to boost morale and self-esteem is to reinvent yourself. I know it’s easier said than done, but during my own ‘unemployed funk,’ I learned reinventing yourself is possible if you are willing. Some of the many things you could do to reinvent yourself include working for yourself, or starting a new business. You could begin by attending a resume building class, or learning a new skill. One article from the website Project Eve has some great suggestions for when you are ready to Pull Up Your Big Girl Panties and Work for Yourself. Basically, the idea is to create a way for potential income while looking for full time employment. One really good suggestion is being a child care provider, and if you are already a mommy like myself, then you are half way there. One other advantage that comes from working for yourself is the tax write off. Did you know that if you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home? Which may include expenses like mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation. For more information visit IRS.gov.
If you are asking, isn’t starting a business the same as working for yourself? The answer is, not exactly. For one thing, starting a business, depending on the business, is a lot more complex than working for yourself, like freelancing and contract work. If starting a business is something you want to embark on which requires more focus, time, and attention, Project Eve recommends 5 things to Consider When Starting a Business. One of the things the article said to keep in mind before considering starting a business is to believe in yourself and let your passion move you forward, because you already have the knowledge, skill and experience that you can draw upon. The good news is the web is full of useful information for when you are thinking of starting your own business. You can find a bevy of information from companies who provide start up funds to places that are available to test your product. For example, ‘Business Incubators,’ are companies that specialize in funding start ups, and are designed to provide business assistance services. And if you are a woman looking to fund your entrepreneurial dream, Project Eve wrote an article on Funding Sources that Target Women-Owned Businesses. Another great article to add to your reading list is Best Cities for Female Entrepreneurs to live in. Additionally, sba.gov is a useful website that can help shape your business.
If neither working for yourself nor starting your own business is the thing for you, consider revamping your resume by acquiring new skills that fit into a new career or honing your old skills. One of the ways to revamp your resume is to take a resume building class. As a member of the unemployed population, classes are free of charge from your local state government unemployment agency. For instance, in my state of New Jersey, the unemployment agency offers basic and advance resume writing. Their offices are equipped with computer labs with free fax and copy machines. They offer interviewing skills classes, and invite expert speakers from different industries to speak to all job seekers using the facility. Some agencies even provide job training in specialized sectors. One other great advantage of going to your local government unemployment agency is the chance to network with those industry experts. Believe me, it’s a welcomed change from sitting in front of your computer networking on social media like, Facebook, Instagram and or twitter, which are great, but making face to face contact is even better. Project Eve suggest another great way to Stay up-to-date is to join online forums, participate in webinars, and read up on industry trends to keep your toe in the professional waters. It is advised to keep your LinkedIn profile current, and active with posts and commentaries. It’s the first place most employers look to find out about your professional experience, and a better way for you to connect with employers, as well as stay updated on industry norm. Finally, one other great way to network is volunteering. Interestingly enough, volunteering has more than one advantage. The first is the chance to stay busy, and get into the habit of just going somewhere. Second, it’s a chance to stay current, and active in your community. And third, it’s a chance at possible employment, or a great experience to add to your resume.
On the whole, speaking from experience I know if you do decide to reinvent yourself, I promise you will find that it rejuvenates the mind, and makes you feel like a productive member of society.
Do you have a story of how you reinvented yourself? Tell me, I would love to read it and post it on my blog.