Yesterday, I did a video that asked a question, "Why do employers not hire people who have been out of work for a while?" My answer said some difficult things that I thought were worthwhile to hear. Someone responded with a great question. "Okay. Fine. What do I do?" It was a great question to ask and I thought I would address it in this video.
The answer is going to be a little bit different based upon whether you are inexperienced or relatively junior in your professional circles or more experienced. Whether you are white collar or no collar or blue-collar.
If you are relatively inexperienced, you basically have to go out there and talk to people in different sectors; you have to start talking to temp agencies about the skills that are being sought and, if necessary, go back to school in order to learn those skills.
If you are more experienced, if you are white collar, you may have to get on a plane and go somewhere in order to do the work that you do. I know that is not ideal. But, if necessary, do it. Temp agencies/consulting firms are an option for you if your skills are marketable in other parts of the country. Even if you been out of work for a while, there is a way that your resume can address why you have a gap and you can, if you have done this legitimately, put the word, "Consultant," in there. Even though it is not a full-time job, you can indicate that you have done consulting and talk about the kind of work that you have done as a consultant.
In terms of marketing yourself for the next position, the basic call to action is temp firms, getting on a plane, starting your own business (which I think is probably the least likely option because frankly, if you had the capital to start your own business, you would've done it already. You may not think that way but now that you've been out of work for a while, you've run through savings pretty quickly).
I would say get to a temp agency in your area of the country that places people in jobs that you do. But don't just simply talk with them about what jobs they have opened now. Talk with them about what they look for in a background for their clients. Get a human being to talk with who can adopt you and be flexible to what they want you to do.
Don't just simply say (I'm going to use a New York example), "I will only work in midtown Manhattan." Don't say, "I will only drive 15 minutes from my home."
You're not going to find work. If you do that because you are setting down barriers that will make it much more difficult for you. You need to start developing flexibility.
Here's the other part. This is the part job hunters don't want to hear but is necessary to say. The probability is in your previous work, you are not as good as you thought you were. You need to get better at that which may require that you start taking classes or practice by volunteering at an organization to re-energize your skills and get better at them.
Another thing that you don't want to hear is that you probably don't interview particularly well. You need to get better at that part. I will quickly say that JobSearchCoachingHQ.com has great content that will help you with interviewing and, if you have questions, you can ask me your questions.
Fundamentally, you need to get better at your skills and you need to get better at interviewing because those are completely different skill sets. After all, the skills needed to find the job are different than the skills needed to do a job. You need to get stronger at those and that requires practice and effort and not just simply watching Netflix will being on the phone all day.
You need to treat looking for a job like a sports team does preparing to play on Sunday or preparing for a tennis match. Teams and athletes don't just simply run around and do stuff. They practice plays or how to respond to situations. You need to practice the plays of interviewing. You need to practice job hunting in order to get results.
Athletes make millions of dollars doing this and you expect to get the same results while putting in no effort. Your effort needs to get higher and everything that you are doing, both in terms of your craft/your work whether you are white collar, blue collar or no collar… You're going to have to get stronger. If that means giving away your talent for a while. By volunteering or interning, you do that.
You practice interviewing so that you get better at that. You get feedback from people about how you sound and how well you answer questions. My dilemma about this is that most of the people that you might ask for advice about that may not be the best they giving you advice about that.
If you can't afford a coach, you work with what you've got. Maybe your local unemployment office will have someone there who will take mercy upon you and give you that kind of support.
No matter what, you need to practice interviewing, you need to practice your craft, you need to figure out how what you do fits into your geographic market area AND you need to become more flexible. This is effort. I know in our modern times, people don't want to expand efforts.
You've been sitting home for a while and you have been unsuccessful doing what you are doing. You have to learn to do it differently and get feedback on how you are performing in order to be more effective.