Good Activities to Take Part in While Looking for a JobOctober 9th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »
As the saying goes, trying to find a full-time job is, in itself, a full-time job. Staying true to this little bit of wisdom, it really is imperative that you stay active during your job search. Outlined in this piece are a few good activities to take part in that will go a long way in advancing your job search and get you closer to your goal: a new career.
Whether it’s through a university’s alumni association, any professional organizations you’re a part of, or just having a business card and elevator speech ready for any one you may encounter, you should always look for opportunities to network. After all, it’s not what you know, but whom you know in the professional world these days.
Building and keeping your professional social network up-to-date should be part of your job search activities as well, just as you’d keep your resume up to date. You should be vigilant; always look to make a connection and never turn down the opportunity to network.
An internship is a great way to gain experience, and maybe make some money, while you’re looking for a job. At the very least, you get an intimate view of any new career avenues you may be exploring, or a foot in the door on the ground level of a company you’d like to work for.
Internships come in both the full- and part-time variety. In the medicine, architecture, science, engineering, law, business, technology and advertising fields, paid internships are common. Think tanks or non-profit organizations usually have internships in the form of volunteer positions, but all internships offer great experience.
Even if unpaid, some internships may eventually turn in to full-time employment if you’ve proven yourself. Employers love the fact that, when hired out of an internship, new employees will need virtually no training. If not, you now have valuable relevant experience to put on your resume and on your professional social network profiles.
Externships, which are very similar to internships, are another experiential learning opportunity. Typically shorter than internships, externships can be viewed as job shadowing since you are closely supervised by employee volunteers who are showing you the ropes. As an extern, you’re given examples of career possibilities and are given the opportunity to observe and ask questions.
Externships, with their short nature, can give you the experience and know-how you need to speak confidently in any job interview without keeping you out of the market for too long. Through an externship you can network, get your foot in the door at a company you’d like to work for, or become a better candidate for an internship opportunity or new career.
Traditionally, internships and externships are offered mostly to students. However, recent college grads and young adults working as interns has become increasingly popular, so don’t be afraid to take an internship or externship if you’re given the opportunity.
While internships and externships may require a bit of extra work to obtain, temp jobs are a bit easier to pursue. Temporary work agencies or staffing firms will take your information, give you a skills assessment, and track down companies in need of short-term workers. Often, you can gain access to contract opportunities with the potential for full-time employment in your field.
There are temp agencies that tailor to specific industries or a range of industries, so your potential temporary employment opportunities shouldn’t be a grab bag. Through temporary work, you’ll gain valuable experience – from a skills assessment to interview training – to a connection to temporary positions that could lead to something more.
Another good thing to do while looking for a job is to keep an eye out for training opportunities. Any skills and qualifications that are relevant in your desired field will help you on your resume and in practice. Getting a new certification may open doors for career opportunities that you’ve never dreamed of.
All in all, staying active is important in your job search. A ten-minute perusal of job ads in the paper or on the Internet won’t cut it, and you’ll end up out-of-practice and slow when you finally land that interview. Keep networking, keep your eyes open for opportunities, and keep an open mind. You never know where or when a door will open.
Erica L. Fener, Ph.D., is Vice President, Strategic Growth at Progressus Therapy (http://www.progressustherapy.com/), a leading provider of school-based therapy and early intervention services.