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Between Jobs? Here Are 7 Ways To Maximize Your Time So You Can Stay Productive and Inspired

Parting ways with your job can happen due to a number of factors such as leaving on your own terms to corporate layoffs. Everyone’s thought process when experiencing this transitional period in their career varies. In some circumstances, being in between jobs may bring uncertainty, especially for those who are known for having to navigate the job search process all over again. Meanwhile, for others it’s an exciting time for new opportunities. Regardless, it’s necessary to spend your time wisely when between jobs wisely in order to stay productive, creative and inspired. Here are seven things you should do before starting or securing your new job.

1. Aim to Have a Daily Routine

With more time on your hands during this transition, it’s easy to adopt unhealthy habits like sleeping in frequently or spending all day on social media.These habits are fine to do occasionally, however, you should maintain some form of a daily routine, even between jobs, to ensure you’ll always be productive. A good way to do this is by mapping out a to-do list the night before and then completing it the next day. Tasks like organizing your home and cleaning your email inbox give you a sense of structure, even the job-hunting process becomes unpredictable. Also, your routine can vary based on any pressing needs that should be prioritized at the moment. But, the goal is to have a consistent flow of productivity so that it’s not a huge adjustment when you find a new job and have to re-acclimate yourself to a work schedule. 

2. Go Explore

Getting outside of your comfort zone doesn’t only entail embracing challenges. It can also mean traveling somewhere new to help you gain perspective for where you’re headed next in your career. If you’re able to book a trip in a new city or country, go for it as it’ll allow you to relax and make memories  before starting another job. Alternatively, you could opt for a staycation where you explore various restaurants, art galleries and stores in your area that you’ve never been to before.

3. Acquire New Skills

Even when you’re not at a new job, it’s still important to gain new skills that are necessary for your career advancement. According to FlexJobs, companies want candidates who have transferable skills regarding adaptability, computer literacy and analytical reasoning—just to name a few. Becoming proficient in these skills is possible with the help of resources like YouTube, online learning courses and books.

4. Catch Up With Loved Ones

In many cases, working involves sacrificing quality time with loved ones—and we know you can never get that back. So, use this time to catch up with friends and family. Summer is naturally the time when you’re going to cookouts and family reunions, which gives you an opportunity to spend time with them. Or you can simply reach out to them to schedule a day where you both can catch up and have fun.

5. Unplug From Distractions

Social media, while helpful for life updates and making connections, can be overwhelming at times. That’s why a break from social media and constantly being online gives you the chance to focus on your own life as you’re between jobs. This break can be a few hours or several days, but allowing yourself to present as you’re moving into a new chapter of your career eliminates any distractions.

6. Research Consulting and Freelance Opportunities

Just because you’re in between jobs doesn’t mean your cash flow has to stop. Depending on your career field, there could be consulting or freelancing gigs that would be worthy additions to your résumé. Be sure to research available freelance opportunities that suit your skillset and see what other freelancers are charging for similar jobs before deciding if it’s a good use of your time.

7. Reflect on Where Your Life Is Headed

When you’re between jobs and have more time on your hands, you don’t have to fill every second of your day with a task in order to maintain your productivity. Taking moments to pause and reflect on your life and career path can help you gain clarity about the next move that’s right for you. This process isn’t one-size-fits-all, so make choices that will benefit you especially in the long run when you’re settling into a new workplace.

Featured image credit: Photo by Roman Samborskyi via Shutterstock

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